Securing Zambia's lost gemstones

From Zambian Economist Tue Dec 4 2012, 21:10:00

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:

Zambia:   UK Government Supports Training of Zambia Peacekeeping Defence Forces (press release)
PR Newswire
24 March 2017

British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet spoke at the gradutaion ceremony of Zambian peacekeeping defence personnel in Lusaka today. He said: It is a great honour to be here today. I lived and ... [read more]

Zambia:   Law Association President Kasonde Denies Opposition Link (news)
Zambia Reports
24 March 2017

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Linda Kasonde says she has no relationship with UPND president Hakainde Hichilema. Kasonde said that no one was controlling LAZ as alleged by some sections of ... [read more]

Zambia:   Govt Printers to Handle 2021 Ballots, Says President Lungu (news)
Zambia Reports
23 March 2017

The story of ballot papers being printed locally was back on the table when President Edgar Lungu visited Government Printers. President Lungu said that ballot papers for the 2021 elections will be ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com'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!