Monday, August 05, 2013

High-quality emerald auction will reinforce Zambia's reputation internationally - Gemfields
By Gift Chanda
Fri 19 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

GEMFIELDS Plc says 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.

The company, which operates the Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama, in which the Zambian government is a 25 per cent shareholder, is hosting some 40 leading international buyers of the precious stones at the sale, which will culminate in silent bids being submitted today.

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 attracted buyers from across the globe, as well as three Zambian bidders, who spent the past four days appraising 18 lots of rough, high quality emeralds in the second sale held by the company in Lusaka.

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 chief executive officer Ian Harebottle said there was need to continue building on the gemstones industry success "even if this auction is a massive success."

"We need to keep the momentum going and get a higher price. Let us look and see what is really best for Zambia today, tomorrow and the years to come," he said yesterday.

Early this year, the government announced that auctioning of locally-produced emeralds would be done within Zambia in order to increase revenue collection from the green stones.

The move by the government saw Gemfields change venue to Lusaka for an auction that was initially planned for Singapore.

Gemfields, which controls most of the country's emerald production, has since been having talks with the government to see if auctions could still be held outside.

Mines minster Christopher Yaluma on Monday said the government will decide this week, based on the success of Gemfields' auction, if it will allow stones mined in the country to be auctioned abroad.

Gemfields' low-grade emerald auction in April saw the company raise a record US$15.2 million, but at the same time the firm reported a seven per cent decline in average per-carat prices.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home