The Emerald and Semi-precious Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) through its president, Victor Kalesha has called out on all companies mining emerald in the country to consider holding regular mini-auction sales for the local gem dealers and cutters.
He added that there are now many established local cutters who have not been able to compete in major auctions sales because of the high competition and prices of the emeralds from international buyers. “The quality of cutting and polishing being done by Zambians has greatly improved but they are starved of gemstones especially the emeralds,” he added.
According to him, a number of gem cutters across Zambia have been getting orders for cutting and polished emeralds but have nowhere to find them, adding that there was need for prioritizing value addition in order to create more job opportunities for local people.
He instated that a gem cutting school has been able to train quality students who unfortunately have not been able to get jobs after training because there were no materials to cut.
Gemfields, a London based leading gemstones mining company in Zambia, mines at the Kagem Mine which produces over 25% of the world’s commercial emeralds which is mostly auctioned. The world’s leading rough gemstone buyers submit sealed bids for individual lots. Among the buyers, Jewel of Africa became the first Zambian company to participate and, bid in their auction.