Lusaka, Zambia — 21 June 21013 – The government of Zambia has held what it called “fruitful talks” with Gemfields plc this week on the subject of allowing emeralds to be auctioned offshore as well as in the country.
“We are working very hard to make sure we do the best for the industry and the government,” said minister of mines Christopher Yaluma in an interview here with Bloomberg News. “We are willing to talk and explore.”
Zambia, the world’s third-biggest emerald producer, announced in April that it wanted all auctions of the green stones held in the country. Gemfields, the nation’s biggest producer of the gems, said in response that the company’s sales would be hurt by such an arrangement.
A sale in Singapore due to have been held on June 10-14 was postponed as Gemfields sought clarification on the rules. The producer held its first and so far only Zambian auction in April.
Talks with Yaluma, who replaced Yamfwa Mukanga as minister this month, have been positive, Sean Gilbertson, an executive director of the company, said in an interview.
“Both sides hope that we will have a win-win in the not too distant future,” he added.
“The minister discussed the possibility of holding some auctions in Zambia and some abroad,” he said.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.