Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda has flagged off the fifth auction of emeralds to be held in Lusaka by Kagem Mining Ltd and Gemfields plc.
Some 25 gemstone buyers from India, the US and Germany are expected to participate in the auction, spending four days appraising 21 lots of Kagem emeralds – 922kg of lower-grade emeralds and 1,500kg of beryl – before submitting their sealed bids on Friday afternoon. The winning bidders will be announced at a closing ceremony overseen by government representatives.
Mr Chanda said: “We are very much proud of you, Kagem, for the way you have handled your business and for being transparent, and we just hope other mining companies will emulate you. We know what you are making and what you are spending; we know what the government deserves. We are really proud of you as government.”
Kagem chairman William B Nyirenda thanked the buyers and the government for their support and said: “We take pride in the quality of the stones that we offer to our customers and we take pride in the manner of the production of those stones, and we are passionate about the colour and the quality of those stones.”
Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine Lufwanyama, in which the Zambian government is a 25 percent shareholder. All the emeralds on offer at the auction were mined at Kagem’s mine in Lufwanyama, the single largest producing emerald mine in the world.
Gemfields and Kagem are at the forefront of developing the international market for Zambian emeralds by investing in sales and marketing in order to develop a competitive, reliable and trusted source of ethically produced gemstones. Transparency and accountability are key to winning that trust in order to enhance the integrity of the industry.
This long-term strategy to place Zambian gemstones on the international map is aimed at optimising sales value by assuring buyers of the quality and consistency of supply, thus maximising profitability and hence tax revenue, employment and economic and social benefit for Zambia.