Security and operational improvements at Kagem emerald mine

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

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Kagem’s emerald mine at Lufwanyama has been fitted with state of the art biometric security technology which will prevent theft of its precious gemstones.

The 1.2 million kwacha equipment aims to minimise theft and thus increase turnover, enabling further development investment in the mine, which is owned by Gemfields Plc in partnership with the Zambian Government.

The company recently sold a 75 percent share to Gemfields plc: a mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) which has been responsible for a wave of modernisation efforts in the business; the other 25 percent in the business remains in the hands of the Zambian government.

Kagem Chairman William B Nyirenda said: “Since Gemfields took over the operation of the mine in 2008 it has turned Kagem into a profit-making business that has paid taxes, royalties and dividends to the government for the first time in its history.” 

The biometric security system uses fingerprint recognition to enable workers to clock-in more efficiently; it also allows different sections of the mine to be cordoned off which vastly increases security.

Gemfields and Kagem are working together to develop a competitive and trusted source of ethically produced gemstones; the biometric technology is the first of its kind to be used in the Zambian gem sector and therefore marks a crucial step towards modern, transparent operations.

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