BUSINESS

GEMFIELDS POSITIVE ON EMERALD AUCTION OUTCOME

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Gemfields plc is confident that its high-quality emerald auction being held in Lusaka this week will reinforce Zambia’s reputation in the international market as a trusted source of world-class gemstones.

Gemfields and Kagem CEO Ian Harebottle (left) with William Mumbi, director of the Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre discuss the quality of an emerald at Gemfields’ auction in Lusaka this week.

Gemfields and Kagem CEO Ian Harebottle (left) with William Mumbi, director of the Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre discuss the quality of an emerald at Gemfields’ auction in Lusaka this week.

The company, which operates the Kagem emerald mine Lufwanyama, in which the Zambian government is a 25 percent shareholder, is hosting some 40 leading international buyers of the precious stones at the sale, which will culminate in silent bids being submitted on Friday (July 19).

The bids will be opened and collated under the supervision of Zambian government representatives from the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Resources.

The five-day auction is being attended by buyers from across the globe, as well as three Zambian bidders, who are spending the week appraising 18 lots of rough high quality emeralds in the second sale to be held by the company in the capital this calendar year, putting the country on the international circuit for gemstone sales.

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 on Monday by Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Hon, Christopher Yaluma, who commended the company for including Zambia on the circuit and reiterated 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 Chief Executive Officer Ian Harebottle said: “Even if this auction is a massive success, we must not rest on our laurels. We need keep the momentum goig and get a higher price, and a higher price. Let us look and see what is really best for Zambia today, tomorrow and the years to come.”

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 is 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, and thus maximising profitability and hence tax revenue, employment and economic and social benefit.

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