GEMFIELDS EMERALD AUCTION COMMENDED BY MINES MINISTER
Gemfields plc and Kagem Mining Limited have been commended by the Minister of Mines Hon. Christopher Yaluma for the success of the high-quality emerald auction held in Lusaka last week.
Speaking as the auction closed on Friday, July 19, 2013, the minister said: “I am aware that the auction has attracted buyers from all over the world, an indication that our emeralds are among the best in the world and the environment in Zambia is conducive for such business events.”
“The government regards Kagem as a flagship of company in the Zambian gemstone sector and as such hopes that together with Gemfields we can build an enabling environment for the continued growth of the industry,” he added.
Some 40 gemstone buyers, comprising both international and local buyers, participated in the auction, spending five days appraising 18 lots of Kagem emeralds before submitting their sealed bids on Friday afternoon. The winning bidders were announced at a closing ceremony officiated by the minister and other government representatives.
Kagem chairman William B Nyirenda thanked the buyers and the government for their support, urging participants to explore more of Zambia during their visit.
During the week several senior dignitaries attended the auction, including Vice President Hon. Dr Guy Scott, First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata and Bank of Zambia Governor Michael Gondwe, who all expressed how impressed they were with the event.
Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine Lufwanyama, in which the Zambian government is a 25 per cent 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.
The auction was opened by the Mines Minister on Monday, when he commended the companies for including Zambia on the international emerald sales circuit and stressed the government’s commitment to developing the gemstone sector as a major contributor to economic development through generation of tax revenue, employment and poverty alleviation.
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 that buyers can trust. 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.