By Mailesi Banda
KAGEM mine has contributed an excess of US$104 million to government since 2007 of which US$13 million is in dividends, while US$34 million is in royalties and US$57 million in corporation tax.
And an Ethiopian delegation is in Zambia to learn how Kagem was contributing to the growth of Zambia’s emerald sector, its impact on job-creation, and the marketing efforts which have led to increased global acclaim for Zambia’s green gemstones.
The delegation which is being led by the director of Mineral Licensing and Administration Directorate Sisay Ayalew Amera, visited the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama and later attended Gemfields’ emerald auction in Lusaka.
Mr Amera said he was impressed with Kagem’s operations after being given a guided tour to learn what it takes to run an emerald mine.
“We went from the mining pit, to the sorting and grading facility and what we saw was fantastic. We hope to see Gemfields directly duplicate what they have done here in Zambia, or even do better, back home in Ethiopia” he said.
Mr Amera remained optimistic that Gemfields would use the experience and expertise it had put to such great use in transforming the gemstone sector in Zambia.
Kagem has developed a Community Sustainability Development strategy that sets out planned projects with the agreement of local stakeholders and Kagem’s sustainability department develops and implements its community development strategy directly in line with Gemfields sustainability strategy to support health, education and agricultural projects in the two local chiefdoms. The strategy enables Kagem to have a more transparent, equitable and interactive relationship with all local stakeholders. Kagem has invested in a range of community projects, with a focus on Chapula Secondary School and Nkana Health Centre spending close to US$2 million, which