Assore takes investment in Gemfields to R477m after buying further lot of shares

ASSORE, the iron ore and manganese investment firm, has increased its stake in the UK-listed Gemfields to 12.7%.

Gemfields said in a disclosure on Tuesday evening that Assore had bought 90.5 million more shares in the ruby and emerald mining and marketing company at a cost of R290m.

It now held nearly 149 million shares in Gemfields. In terms of UK takeover rules, a mandatory offer would have to be made for Gemfields if Assore breached the 30% threshold. The additional Gemfields shares were bought on September 17.

“Online share price services including Sharenet reported two off-market block trades totalling 90,113,595 shares at a price of R3.20 per share on 17 September 2021,” Gemfields said in its disclosure.

Assore has declined to comment on the reason for buying Gemfields which operates in a completely different sphere of the mining sector to Assore.

On September 8, Assore bought a 5% stake in Gemfields at a cost of R187m.

Assore delisted from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May after 70 years as a public company. Its head of strategic development, Kieran Daly said at the time there were no particular plans to embark on new investment directions triggering the delisting.

Assore’s principle investment is a 50/50 joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals in Assmang, a company that produces iron ore and manganese ore and alloys. It also has investments in chrome and a 25.45 stake in IronRidge Resources, an exploration firm.

Regarding its 6.5% stake in unlisted platinum producer Sedibelo Platinum Mines, Gemfields said it was hoping to sell the investment ahead of the company’s listing – a strategy that is favoured by Gemfields former parent company, Pallinghurst Resources.

Pallinghurst Resources said it was hoping to list in the first quarter of this year, a target pushed back to later in the year.