These two shares could add precious riches to your portfolio

Could shares in precious metals and gemstones help boost your investment riches?

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Resources shares are going through a bright patch, with delvers for shiny baubles climbing along with our more diversified miners. Here are two reporting today that are surely worth a closer look:

Coloured gems

Shares in Gemfields (LSE: GEM) picked up a modest 2% this morning, to 46p, in response to full-year results. The miner of coloured gemstones, mainly emeralds from its Kagem mine in Zambia and rubies from Montepuez in Mozambique, reported a 12.7% rise in revenue to $193.1m, with EBITDA up 7.8% to $69.4m and profit after tax up 91% to $23.5m. Cash stood at $41.5m, up from $28m a year previously, with the company’s inventory apparently worth $107.2m.

Chief executive Ian Harebottle spoke of increasing consumer demand and steadily rising price for its rough gemstones, and told us that

…to meet the rising demand for coloured gemstones, the company secured financing in the year to realise its expansion programme which will see higher production at both the Kagem and Montepuez operations over the next three years“.

Forecasts for earnings growth are in line with those expectations.

There’s a PEG ratio of 0.8% on the cards for the year to June 2017, which is attractive as a growth prospect, though investors might be put off a little by a relatively high P/E of 23. But if we exclude the value of cash and inventories from the company’s market cap of a little over £250m, we’d be looking at an effective P/E for the business itself of only around 13.

If Gemfields really is set for a few years of earnings growth, it could be a nice buy right now.

Desirable metal

Over to gold now, and Highland Gold Mining (LSE: HGM) shares are also up 2%, to 138.5p, this time after the release of interim results.

Before I looked at the figures, I was struck by the somewhat low P/E of the shares — a forward multiple of 8 for the full year, dropping to 7.4 on 2017 forecasts, and that’s with dividend yields of 4.1% and 4.7% pencilled in. All-in sustaining production costs of a nicely low $609 per ounce is not a problem, but the company reported net debt of $197.9m (£153m). Even allowing for that, a market cap of £450m still leaves the business on effective P/E multiples of around 11, which still looks reasonably attractive.

With gold production up 6% to 128,671 ounces, revenue for the half rose by 13% to $147.1m, and we saw a 14% rise in EBITDA. Rising gold prices helping push the company’s EBITDA margin up to 54%. There will be a 5p per share interim dividend, which bodes well for the full year with forecasts suggesting only around 5.7p — that could easily be beaten now.

Whether you should buy the shares is a tough question, and I’m really not a lover of the shiny stuff, as its value is really at the whim of market sentiment. But if you do invest in gold shares, and you think the current economic uncertainty is set to continue for a good few years yet (and I’d be with you on that part, at least), then Highland Gold Mining is surely worth a closer look.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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