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HomeMiningPridegems Kitwe international auction hits $22m

Pridegems Kitwe international auction hits $22m

By JOHN CHOLA
Pridegems Mining has successfully conducted an international emerald auction in Kitwe, selling nearly two tonnes valued at $22 million and impressing the government. The sister company of Grizzly Mining Limited, during December 5-9 drew numerous buyers and positively impacted emerald buyers.

In a move hailed by the government, the Lufwanyama-based is considering holding more auctions in Kitwe, creating positive ripple effects on the depressed economy of the Copperbelt province.

Barbara Shilengwe-Kafwilo, Pridegems General Manager said the sale exceeded target expectations and added that although holding auction sales abroad potentially made it easier for more buyers from across the globe to physically access the event, there were more benefits from locally hosted auctions especially when it involved bulk amounts of slightly low-grade gems.

Shilengwe-Kafwilo thanked stakeholders including the Ministry of Mines, Zambia Revenue Authority, Department of Immigration, and others for consistently facilitating the preparation and conduct of the auction.

Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Augustin Kasongo said Pridegems’ local auctions had raised Zambia’s international pedigree with international visitors bringing in foreign exchange at each event.

The sister companies needed Government support at various levels of business because they had proved to be among the major sources of state revenue in the province.

Kasongo said Pridegems and Grizzly Mining had demonstrated that Zambians could run complicated mining operations and enable the nation to realize profits for development from its mineral wealth. He commended Pridegems for conducting auctions locally, which accorded other sectors such as hospitality and transport industries some benefit from visitors spending in the country.

“Initially the perception of most Zambians was that as a country we were not benefiting so much from gemstone mining. But now we have come to understand that if properly harnessed and managed like Grizzly, Pridegems Mining Limited and other outfits have demonstrated to us, emerald mining is one of the country’s economic sector areas where the revenue for the country can be realized,” Kasongo said.

“We have a task as Copperbelt Province to do more in supporting such firms like Grizzly Mining Limited and Pridegems Mining so that we can realize more revenue from their sale of gemstones.

Grizzly Mining has been very active in the community, ploughing back their profits besides paying direct taxes to local authorities and the central government.

Just recently Grizzly Mining bought a brand new vehicle for the Zambia Police in Lufwanyama and I was again the guest of honour there. I have also witnessed their building of several schools, donation of school materials and several other interventions. Indeed these companies need cherishing.

“Following the pronouncement by President Hakainde Hichilema that there must be free education in the country, the Copperbelt Province just like other areas we have had a challenge that has risen from the increased number of learners which has resulted in the shortage of learning space. Grizzly Mining has stepped in to help in that area with the provision of more classroom blocks, buying of desks, learning materials provided too,” Kasongo said.

The PS challenged other companies on the Copperbelt and across the country to learn from Grizzly Mining how best to plough back into the communities where they operate.

Some of the notable successful bidders were Green Ace Gems, Iqbal Gems, A.G.S Gem International, A B Exporters and K Sunil Narnoli.

Others are Wali Gems and Jewellers, RD Gems, New York Mining Inc, Mohit Exports, Sumangal Impex, Shazia Global Limited and Tushar Enterprise among others.

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