Securing Zambia's lost gemstones

From Zambian Economist Tue Dec 4 2012, 16:10:00

By Chola Mukanga

Gemstones are among the most lucrative minerals in the world. They are also stones that Zambia has in abundance. It has the second largest deposits of emeralds in the world and accounts for about 20% of global supplies. The quality of these emerald stones is very good for colour and specific gravity. Zambia also possesses Africa's largest deposits of amethyst and aquamarine, with the quality of the former considered to be amongst the very best in the world. These deposits can be found in Copperbelt, Eastern and Southern provinces, with more discoveries being made in other parts of Zambia as exploration intensifies.

Unfortunately, like much of Zambia's mining story, the country has failed to benefit from these vast gemstones riches. Our completely liberalised gemstones sector have not delivered any tangible benefits to ordinary Zambians. There's minimal employment creation, most of them are not owned by Zambians and the tax revenue is non-existent. As former Mines Minister Wilbur Simuusa, put it, "the gemstone sector can contribute about US$700 million annually if properly managed". That dwarfs any amount being collected currently from copper mining. Properly managed, the production of gemstones has the potential to earn the country significant tax revenues and aid the much diversification away from copper. A full fledged gemstone sector may also be a catalyst in fighting, especially if it is dominated by indigenous firms and is able to create employment for many jobless youths.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Zambie:   La veuve de l'ex-président Sata veut succéder à son mari (news)
Radio France Internationale
25 November 2014

Dans la famille Sata, il y avait le père, le fils, le neveu, et maintenant l'épouse. Elu à la présidence en 2011, Michael Sata est mort en octobre dans l'exercice de ses ... [read more]

Zambia:   Fearing Army Take Over, Guy Scott Bows to Pressure (news)
Zambia Reports
25 November 2014

Fearing an army take over following the warnings from the defence force that they were ready to offer transition leadership in Zambia through to the January 20 presidential election, Acting President ... [read more]

Zambia:   Electricity Act Faces Review (news)
The Times of Zambia
25 November 2014

THE Government is in the process of revising the Electricity Act and the Energy Regulation Act for purposes of liberalisation and independent regulation of the energy sector, Mines, Energy and Water ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!