Recently its been reported that the government of Zambia has barred mining company Gemfields Plc from exporting emeralds for its upcoming sale to Singapore, which is scheduled for June 10 to 14. According to the report, the country’s Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga told Bloomberg by phone on June 1 that selling gemstones outside of Zambia is not permitted and that the government had blocked Gemfields from exporting emeralds last week.
As Per a previously reached agreement with the government, Gemfields already had agreed to hold its April auction in the Zambian capital of Lusaka but planned on holding the June sale in Singapore. As of now the fate of that auction remained unclear as of Wednesday afternoon.
Currently Gemfields owns a 75 percent stake in Zambia’s Kagem Emerald Mine, which accounts for a bulk of the company’s production, the government holds the remaining 25 percent. Gemfields also has a 50 percent interest in the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia, with the other half belonging to the government, and mines rubies in Mozambique.
Since 2009, all 11 of Kagem’s auctions have taken place outside of Zambia, in India and Singapore, generating a total of $160 million. The Zambian government see’s this as revenue that is not being generated from within the country, thus eventually having a spill over affect which would also boost its economy through tourism and other means.
Gemfields has said that being forced to sell the emeralds in Zambia only would negatively impact revenues and the overall development of the country’s gemstone sector and place Zambian emeralds at a competitive disadvantage worldwide.
As always Live, Life, Lamour,