Zambian gemstone miner Kagem Mining, which is 75%-owned by Gemfields, has invested US$11 million in new equipment to increase operational efficiencies at the Kagem emerald mine, creating further skilled local jobs in the process.
The equipment includes 13 articulated dump trucks (ADTs) with a rated capacity of 45 t each; two 6 m3 hydraulic excavators and service equipment, including a water bowser with 36 000 litre carrying capacity, a tyre handler, a telescopic handler and other supporting equipment. These machines feature state of art technology to facilitate smooth, safe and productive operations.
“This additional capital infusion will improve the productivity with enhanced efficiency at reduced operational cost. This is in line with our philosophy of continuous process improvement, says Kagem General Manager Prahalad Kumar Singh.
With the support of Gemfields’ management, the purchase of Kagem’s new machinery has resulted in increased capacity. This further capital infusion will generate additional direct, permanent, pensionable employment of up to 100 direct job and 70 indirect jobs.
Singh notes that preference will be given to the Lufwanyama communities for employment offers.
Kagem is focused on investing in employee training in technical and operational areas with a special focus on safety of personnel and property and in employee welfare, such as improved accommodation with the best available architecture talent pool in Zambia.
“We are committed to investing in the future, not for short-term gains but for long-term sustainable growth for the company, the government, employees and all other stakeholders,” says Singh.
The Kagem emerald mine, located in Zambia’s Copperbelt province, is the world’s single largest producer of emeralds and accounts for approximately 25% of global emerald production.