Mines and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has commended Gemfields plc and Kagem Mining Limited for putting up a successful and high-quality emerald auction held in Lusaka this week.
Mr. Yaluma said the fact that the auction had attracted buyers from all over the world is a clear indication that Zambian emeralds are among the best in the world.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the close of the five day event, Mr Yaluma said the successful hosting of the event is testimony that the business environment in Zambia is conducive for such business events of a huge magnitude.
This was contained in a statement to ZANIS by Langmead and Baker limited Managing Director Gillian Langmead.
“Government regards Kagem as a flagship 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,” Mr Yaluma added.
According to the statement , Mr Yaluma stressed government’s commitment to developing the gemstone sector in the country as a major contributor to economic development through the generation of tax revenue, employment and poverty alleviation.
And Kagem chairman William Nyirenda, State Counsel, thanked the buyers, participants and the government for their support .
Mr Nyirenda also urged the participants to explore Zambian tourism during their stay in the country.
Mr. Nyirenda said several senior dignitaries attended the auction, including Vice President Guy Scott, First Lady Christine Kaseba-Sata and the Bank of Zambia Governor Michael Gondwe, who all expressed satisfaction with the event.
He stated that Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama in which the Zambian government holds 25 percent shares.
He disclosed that all the emeralds on offer at the auction were mined at Kagem mine in Lufwanyama which is 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 that buyers can trust”, Mr Nyirenda said.
The auction which opened in Lusaka on Monday attracted 40 local and international gemstone buyers, appraising 18 lots of Kagem emeralds before submitting their sealed bids on Friday afternoon.
The winning bidders were also announced at the closing ceremony.