By DERRICK SILIMINA
Grizzly Mining Limited (GML) continues to spearhead Zambia’s emerald mining industry with yet another fruitful auction, placing Zambia on the elite global gemstone trading circuit. Grizzly Mining’s breathtaking international emerald auction at Kitwe’s Wolle building complex has been such a success that the company now hopes to host three such events annually.
The prominent gemstone companies from around the globe who turned-up to participate are mesmerized at the mining company’s high grade of emeralds. This reveals Grizzly mining’s prime contribution to the gemstone industry in Zambia and Africa at large.
Having successfully hosted more than 50 companies from around the world that turned up for the 2021 auction to snap up 72 loads of emeralds in a nail-biting battle of bidders, Grizzly Mining may host three auctions annually, especially if Covid-19 disruptions fade off.
Speaking during the auction, Chief Executive Officer Abdoul Ba expressed optimism that the event would revive the gemstone industry especially after the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.
“We feel good to host this auction here as this will cut down on logistics and travel costs. This will also enhance local job creation and boost tourism and the hotel industry.
“If all goes well without further Covid-19 disruptions, we anticipate to hold our auctions at least three times per year if our sector is to recover quickly,” he emphasized.
Ba observes that the increased number of participants were a sign of heightened perception of Zambia’s quality gems around the world.
Speaking at the close of the auction, the first-ever in the Copperbelt Province, Ba expressed delight to see continuously growing numbers of gemstone brokers from other parts of the world, especially India, coming to Zambia to buy the stones.
“I would like to thank you all for the continued good relationship between us and your companies. We thank you also for your participation in our auction in Kitwe as it is a great pleasure to us,” Ba told local and international bidders.
He further expressed gratitude to the Government through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, Geological Department and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) for making the auction a success.
After the announcement of successful bidders, GML’s General Manager Caroline Sampa congratulated the winners for putting up a spirited fight.
“I want to congratulate those that have won the bids; those that have not made it this time around. I want to encourage you that there is always better luck next time.”
Interestingly, this year a number of local gemstone traders competed viciously alongside their international counterparts.
And speaking on the sidelines of the bidding, one of the winners from India’s Jaipur city representing Nakshatra Gems Company Ltd expressed joy on scooping 13 bays.
“I am feeling good and am very excited as I targeted many tables. With the material that I have bundled, this will boost my business and I am very excited about the outcome of the auction,” Ashok Maheshwari said.
He said the development was a boon to his enterprise especially that Covid-19 had made a devastating impact on most businesses.
Naveen Sharda, a leading gemstone trading dealer based in Jaipur of India noted that Grizzly Mining had excelled in its pursuit to market its emeralds on the global market.
“Grizzly is doing very well and when you look at their assortment and quality of stones, it is very nice.”
Another jewellery company, SB Gems from India, expressed hope that despite losing the bid, not all was lost as his firm would continue pressing forward in future auctions.
“Every auction is a lesson and therefore, I will increase my bidding abilities. Next time, I will try my best,” company Chief Executive Officer Abdul Latif stated.
Grizzly Mining is on record to have made history at the Intercontinental Hotel auction in Lusaka where the mining company unveiled a 50-kilogramme multi-million-dollar emerald crystal extracted at its Lufwanyama Mine on the Copperbelt Province, making the stone the world’s heftiest hunk ever unearthed.
Company General Manager Caroline Sampa notes that the company’s supply of quality precious stones on the global market from inception of the auction has been consistent.
“We are extremely excited to host this auction here in Kitwe and this does not only mean being cost effective on our side but there also is the trickle-down economic benefits from inviting most of our buyers in our country.
The event attracted some of the world’s leading gemstone industry dealers, local industry stakeholders, gemstone experts, senior officials from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals development and others.
The dealers were mesmerized by the mining company’s high grade of emeralds. This outcome has unveiled Grizzly Mining as a prime contributor to the gemstone industry in Zambia and Africa at large.