-Government has clarified that it has not banned the export of emeralds and other producers in Zambia by Kagem Mining Zambia Limited.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma says the exportation of emeralds will go to respective countries of buyers in line with the existing export guidelines.
Mr Yaluma said government as a shareholder in Kagem wants to see the mining firm grow, increase its revenue base and pays corresponding quantum of tax to the national treasury.
The minister said this in Lusaka today when he officially opened the first-ever high-value emeralds auction sale held at Intercontinental Hotel conducted by Kagem Mining Zambia Limited.
Earlier, the minister toured some stands at the auction that runs for one week.
In April this year, Kagem Mining which operates the world’s single largest emerald mine in partnership with the Zambian government staged a landmark auction of Zambian emeralds that attracted about 30 of the world’s leading gemstone industry participants.
“The Zambian government has not at anytime banned the export of emeralds by Kagem Mining Zambia Limited and other producers in Zambia. I want to emphasize that the gemstone that will be auctioned here will be exported to respective countries of buyers, according to the existing export guidelines,” Mr Yaluma said.
He said the auction demonstrates the commitment of the Patriotic Front government to promote free enterprise in Zambia adding that government wants to develop the gemstone sub-sector as a major contributor to sustainable venture through the generation of revenues, employment and poverty alleviation.
Mr Yaluma urged other mine players in the mining industry to emulate Kagem as government has set an investor-friendly environment to ensure that there is continued inflow of investment and sustainable growth of the industry and economy at large.
And speaking earlier, Kagem Mining Zambia Limited Chairman William Nyirenda urged the customers to deal with genuine producers of emeralds and other minerals and refrain from dealing with an illegal market.
“Help us eradicate the secondary market which is not good for you but deal with us,” Mr Nyirenda said.
He claimed that his mining firm will one-day become the world’s producer of emeralds because of the quality of the commodity and satisfaction Kagem Mining Zambia Limited receives from government and its clientele.
Kagem Mining Zambia Limited Chief Executive Ian Harebottle commended government for the support his firm is receiving.
The auction was witnessed by Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary Geroge Zulu, Bank of Zambia Governor Michael Ngondwe, Emeralds specialists and Kagem staff and senior government officials.