Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sata happy with local emerald auction
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 31 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says Zambia's ability to hold successful auctioning of emeralds has been understated through various manipulations.

Zambia last month held its second auction of high grade emeralds at which US$31.5 million was realised, doubling the feat achieved during the inaugural auction last April.

In an unprecedented move, the Treasury earned US$1.89 million in mineral royalty from the auctioning of emeralds done this month.
Gemfields Plc, which owns 75 per cent of Kagem Mining Limited, Zambia's biggest emerald producer, held its local auctioning of high grade emeralds, attracting 37 foreign companies.

Commenting on the development, President Sata hailed the mines ministry for implementing his directive on gemstone auctions without delay.
President Sata said following the outcome of the successful auctions, there was no doubt about the country's ability to hold these auctions locally and maximise revenue, which might have been understated through various manipulations.

"On the insistence of government, Kagem Mines Plc held a low grade rough emeralds auction from 15 - 19 April, 2013 which realised US$15.2 million which was the highest value ever realised," President Sata said in a statement by special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah.

"Similarly, from 15 - 19 July, another auction of high grade emeralds was held at which US$31.5 million was realised. This is the second highest auction revenue achieved to date and the best in terms of value per carat sold."

The average per carat price of US$54 has set a new record. Furthermore, all the 583,448 carats placed on offer were sold.

President Sata said it is obvious that selling and auctioning of gemstones locally would create employment and enhance value addition through cutting.

"Additional spillover effects to other sectors of the economy will also be enhanced as international buyers who come and stay in the hotels will end up visiting other tourist attractions as well as having an interest in investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy," he said.

President Sata reiterated government's commitment to diversifying the economy away from copper and promoting value addition industries in the mining sector in line with the PF Manifesto.

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