KAGEM has raised US$28.4 million from an auction of high quality Zambian emeralds, which included an exceptionally rare 1.13 kilogrammes (5,655 carat) piece nicknamed Inkalamu (Lion). And Kagem says since July 2009, US$556 million has been raised from 30 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined in Lufwanyama on the Copperbelt.According to a press statement issued through Langmead and Baker Communications, Kagem Mines said the auction was held in Singapole lastweek.“US$28.4 million in foreign exchange earnings has been raised from an auction of high-quality Zambian emeralds, including the exceptionallyrare 5,655 carat (1.13kg) Inkalamu emerald…the sale of gemstones from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama was witnessed by Paul Chanda, thepermanent secretary, Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development along with other officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, Zambia Revenue Authority and the Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development Corporation Mateyo Kaluba,” thestatement read in part.Meanwhile, Sean Gilbertson, who is the chief executive officer of Kagem and Gemfields, said all the proceeds from the auction would be repatriated back to Zambia.“We also believe that Zambia should benefit equitably from its natural resources through the taxes we contribute to the government, theforeign exchange earnings we generate, increased local employment, and the social impact of our community projects,” Gilbertson said.Kagem added that the auction saw 40 companies placing bids and generating total revenues of US$28.4 million with an overall averagevalue of US$68.03 per carat.“Improved liquidity in the trade customers resulted in 74 per cent of the offered carats being sold, versus 56 per cent in the last auction of higher quality emeralds held in Lusaka in May 2018. Of the number of lots offered, 77 per cent were sold (versus 59 per cent in the May 2018 auction),” Kagem added.And Adrian Banks, who is the Kagem’s managing director of product and sales said the auction in Singapore in more than three years clearly reflected the emerging recovery among the mine’s trade customers after a protracted period of difficulty.
“The marked increases in the percentage of carats and number of lots sold, combined with the uptick in per carat price, bode well for further improvement in 2019. Proceeds from the auction will be remitted to Zambia for reinvestment in operations, including on-going upgrades to employee facilities, and additional equipment that will also generate associated employment opportunities and repayment of debt,” Banks said.Kagem revealed that the rare 5,655 carat emerald (Inkalamu) which attracted international media attention on discovery last month was atthe auction by Rajkumar and Rishabh Tongya of Dia-Color, specialists in high-value gems.The gemstone was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem’s open-pit mine on October 2, 2018 by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta, who has more than a decade of experience mining Zambian emeralds for the Gemfields group.