Chinese investors urged to explore Zambia’s gemstone, emerald sector

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File photo shows customers examine emeralds in Lusaka, capital of Zambia,

Chinese enterprises should consider plowing their investment in Zambia’s vast gemstone and emerald sector which was yearning for more investment, an industry body said on Wednesday.

The Emerald Production Watch of Zambia believes that Chinese enterprises will make huge returns if they invested in the country’s gemstone and emerald sector.

Kafimbwa Musa, the organization’s president, said the country has many dormant emerald mines which the government should repossess and give to serious investors from foreign investors such as Chinese.

“We have so many dormant mines and we are asking the government to repossess them so that we give them to serious investors,” he said in an interview.

According to him, Chinese technology and expertise will go a long way in exploiting the precious stones which will benefit not only the investors but the country and communities through tax payments and job creation.

While appreciating Chinese investment in Zambia’s copper production, he noted that it was time for the Chinese to diversify in other mining ventures such as mining of precious stones.

Meanwhile, the official said the sector has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because buyers were not coming forth to buy the stones.

He said this has affected production as well as jobs as some mines have been forced to downsize on labour.

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