HomeNewsFormer Gemfields CEO steps into the fertilizer business

Former Gemfields CEO steps into the fertilizer business

Harebottle has over 17 years’ experience in the mining sector and was CEO of AIM-quoted Gemfields from February 2009 until its acquisition by Pallinghurst Resources in July 2017.

Under his leadership, Gemfields grew to become a leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones with assets in Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Madagascar.

From his appointment in 2009, Harebottle undertook an operational restructuring which saw Gemfields transition from a loss-making business with revenues under US$1 million to an international multi-asset business that generated EBITDA of US$69 million from revenues of US$193 million in 2016.

In addition to the operational and corporate restructuring, Gemfields is also credited with transforming the coloured gemstone business including a significant increase in coloured gemstone consumption and appreciation amongst discerning international consumers.

Prior to Gemfields, Harebottle was CEO of AIM-quoted Tanzanite One between April 2005 until February 2008. TanzaniteOne was the world’s largest tanzanite producer, achieving a market capitalisation of US$400 million under Ian’s leadership and was widely recognised as being one of the highest dividend payers in the mining sector on AIM during that time.

Harebottle is recognised for his skills in facilitating and participating in high-level operational initiatives, including infrastructure design, process re-engineering, turnaround management, and reorganisation. He has a strong transactional background in start-ups, mergers, acquisitions and stock exchange listings.

Steps are well underway for the formation of Kropz . the intended holding company for all the various assets in the Kropz group. A range of funding options, including a flotation on the LSE in 2018, are also being explored.

Kropz founder and non-executive director, Mike Nunn says:I have been lucky enough to have worked with Ian for many of his 17 years in mining and have experienced first-hand his positive, professional and thorough approach to business leadership. Ian has a built an enviable reputation as being a positive ‘disruptor’ and one to challenge traditional practices. We believe Kropz is ideally suited to his skillset to bring about a new player in the African plant nutrient sector.”

I am extremely excited by the fact that I will soon be joining Kropz and embarking on a new chapter in the plant nutrient business, ably supported by a management team with technical and marketing experience in the phosphate sector,” says Ian Harebottle, CEO designate, Kropz.

“Kropz is an environmentally responsible company with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa and an exciting downstream plant nutrient distribution business, which has the ability to contribute towards feeding sub-Saharan Africa for generations.”

“I have been extremely impressed with the way in which Kropz has established itself in setting high standards for the sustainable mining of plant nutrient minerals and believe Kropz is the ideal platform to build the leading sub-Saharan plant nutrient producer and trader.”

Feature image credit: Kropz