GEMFIELDS, which owns 75 per cent of Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama district, has highlighted Zambia's gemstones at the world's largest mining investment event in South Africa.
The Cape Town initiative demonstrated the importance of a sophisticated high-end international marketing campaign to support the on-going promotion of Zambia's gemstone resources if they are to continue to compete on the global stage.
Zambia's Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Yamfwa Mukanga represented the country during the high-level function hosted by Gemfields in Cape Town last week as part of the Global 'Investing in Africa' Mining Indaba.
This is according to a statement from Kagem.
"The Indaba is a key date on the calendar for all mining related stakeholders, and as a world leader within the coloured gemstone industry it is vital for us to meet with other influential participants, share ideas and emphasise the quality of Zambia's products," said Kagem chief executive officer, Ian Harebottle.
He said the event, which formed just one part of Kagem and Gemfields' global marketing strategy to continue to put Zambian emeralds at the forefront of the world's fine jewellery industry, was attended by Government representatives, investors, retailers, high networth individuals and various jewellery designers.
Billboard advertisements were also strategically placed at the Cape Town International airport to target the large number of international stakeholders attending the event and featured Africa's rare coloured gemstones including Zambian emeralds and amethyst and Mozambican rubies.
The company is pioneering a revolutionary approach to the gemstone sector that integrates world-class mining, partnering local stakeholders, a strong focus on the international marketing of Africa's rare coloured gemstones, and a commitment to the on-going development of the local communities.
Mr Harebottle said Kagem had embarked on a new phase in its development under which it was looking to further increase its
production outputs and by association its already significant contributions to Zambian taxes and direct foreign earnings.
Kagem was rescued from bankruptcy in 2008 by Gemfields, which has turned the company around from a loss-making, debt-ridden shell into a thriving enterprise that now produces approximately 20 per cent of the world's global rough emerald supply.
The 'Investing in Africa' Mining Indaba is the world's largest mining investment event and Africa's most significant event.
And Mr Harebottle said Zambia gets an estimated revenue of KR860 million per year from gemstones which is one third of the world's total earning of
Kagem is responsible for mining approximately 50 per cent of Zambia's emeralds or KR410 million and pays about 90 per cent of the tax generated from the gemstone sector.
It employs 672 staff and contractors in Zambia.