The Association of Zambian Women in Mining is next month expected to start exporting semi-precious stones to Hong Kong.
Association chairperson Mary Lubemba said the first 20-tonne consignment of low to middle-grade semi-precious stones would be dispatched next month.
The exports come after the association signed a K2 billion export deal with two companies in Hong Kong.
"Following the deal we signed last month with two companies from Hong Kong, we will dispatch the first consignment of the semi-precious stones next month and we are expected to ship about 20 tonnes," she said.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Lubemba said the second consignment would be dispatched in February and would increase to 40 tonnes.
"We will continue to work hard and come next year we want to get more supply orders. In doing so this will help us grow our business and meaningfully contribute to national development and the mining sector in general," she said.
In the supply deal, the association is expected to export two types of stones namely, amethyst and red granite.
Ms Lubemba said the other way the sector could grow was by value addition to the stones being mined.
She said the association had made positive strides in attaining its value addition goal and that more than 30 women had been trained in cutting and polishing.
"It's good to note that we have made positive improvements in value addition of the stones we mine.
"We are cutting and polishing the stones and we are training our women in all this and it's also good to mention that we have two men who have been trained in cutting and polishing," she said.
She said the association was preparing itself fully to ensure it attended the World Women Conference and Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, in May next year.
"In going forward we are going to attend the conference in Toronto and we want to ensure that we have enough products to sell there; this is why we have intensified out cutting and polishing of our stones to add value to them," she said.