(Alliance News) - Gemfields Group Ltd announced on Tuesday that former De Beers boss Bruce Cleaver will become its new chair from next month.

The London-headquartered gemstones miner and marketer said Martin Tolcher will resign as chair in July.

"After 15 years as a member of Gemfields' board and approaching five years as chair, the time has come for me to step away from the company in order to bolster board independence," Tolcher said.

"I am truly delighted to have such a remarkable successor in Bruce and am confident that Gemfields will go from strength to strength under his stewardship."

Cleaver was previously chief executive officer and co-chair of De Beers, the diamond miner and dealer that is owned by Anglo American PLC.

In other board changes, Gemfields said it has appointed Simon Scott and Kieran Daly as non-executive directors.

Simon was previously chief financial officer of Lonmin PLC and serves on the boards of First Quantum Minerals Ltd and Sylvania Platinum Ltd.

Daly is an alternate director to Patrick Sacco on the Gemfields board. He is managing director of Assore International Holdings, which holds a 29% stake in Gemfields.

Gemfields said Lumkile Mondi and Carel Malan will step down from board.

Last year, Tolcher and Mondi signalled that they had entered their final terms in office on the board.

Gemfields will hold its holds its annual general meeting on June 25, and the board will take effect on July 1.

By Artwell Dlamini, Alliance News reporter

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