It has all the time been a dream of mine to go to a mine! To have the ability to go to the start of the journey that gems and diamonds take to be lastly introduced on the items I share every day. Lastly a possibility introduced itself again in Could/June 2022 because of Eshed Gemstar and we have been linked to Gemfields! Eshed Gemstar acquired Gemfields Chipembele emerald which is the biggest single cluster emerald that was unearthed in Kagem mine and holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS for the biggest uncut emerald (1.505 kg 7,525 carat). Following unearthing Chipembele, Gemfields recovered the Kafubu Cluster, a colossal 37,555-gram (187,775 carat) emerald cluster which was bought throughout a latest public sale that occurred in November 2022.

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Gemfields Group is consisting of Faberge (100%), Kagem Emerald Mine in Zambia (75%) and Montepuez Ruby Mine in Mozambique (75%).

After the introduction, Gemfields have been too glad to ask and host us on an 8-day journey to go to their Kagem Emerald Mine in Zambia! Convention calls later, our itineraries have been booked and quick ahead to October 2022, vaccinated and packed, I used to be prepared for my first ever journey to Africa and first mine go to.

Over 24 hours of journey by way of Singapore Airways from Melbourne to Johannesburg, I arrived in Johannesburg airport and reunited with my accomplice in bling, Tracey (AKA TheDiamondsGirl). We have been joined by Beatrice from Gemfields London workplace, and our important journey to Ndola, Zambia began! A brief flight later, all of us arrived in Ndola situated within the northern a part of Zambia. Over evening keep in Ndola was a lot wanted to be prepared for our drive to Kagem Emerald Mine within the morning. Later that night, Gillian joined our group, she runs a profitable PR agency in Lusaka and Gemfields is considered one of her shoppers.

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Our drive from Ndola to Kagem took roughly 4 hours and we lastly arrived at Kagem Emerald Mine. Positioned within the district of Lufwanyama in Copperbelt Province of Zambia, the realm is enriched with pure assets of Copper.

I actually couldn’t imagine that I’m lastly right here on the world’s largest emerald mine! Kagem is supplying over 30% of world emerald demand. After induction conferences and going by safety measures, it was time for us to drive to the pit. Gemfields Kagem Emerald Mine has 3 working open pit mines: Chama, Chibolele, Fibolele. Chama open pit mine is 2.2 km lengthy and 140m deep and is supplying round 25% of world emerald manufacturing. Arriving at Chama open pit mine, the dimensions was thoughts blowing, and we had the possibility to drive down into the pit the place heavy equipment have been transferring the waste rocks, ores and chisel males discovering emeralds! To see it firsthand how an emerald is unearthed was such a outstanding expertise. They have been variety sufficient at hand us the very latest emeralds that they unearthed, realizing it’s their first encounter with mild after being in darkness for the previous 500 million years solely provides to the romance of gems…

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Following our mine go to, subsequent cease was the wash home the place emeralds and rocks from mine are transferred to be washed and separated on enormous conveyor belts. I managed to identify emeralds amongst all of the rocks and ores, you’ll be able to see the video on my Zambia highlights on my Instagram web page. We stayed on the lodging offered on the mine web site the place all the workers keep throughout their weekly/month-to-month shifts. Dinner was held on the Lake Home with a lot of the workers and administration workforce in attendance and we lastly met Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields Group who mesmerized us all by his huge information of mining and keenness for emeralds and rubies.

The following morning began by visiting the kind home. Jackson the supervisor of the kind home has been at Kagem for the previous 28 years and talks and breathes emeralds. His incomparable information and expertise is a real asset to Kagem. He managed to take us by each step of sorting and separating emerald from the host rock to piles of recovered emerald which have been sorted, washed, oiled and able to be taken to the public sale. Kagem has its personal proprietary grading system which gives a real analysis and declaration of therapy and is trusted and revered by the business. Kagem additionally partnered with Gübelin and launched provenance proof (paternity check) expertise that gives traceability utilizing DNA-based nanoparticles. In a nutshell whereas emeralds are on the type home, an invisible layer of particular nanoparticles are inserted inside the inclusions which stays within the stone all through sprucing and reducing. When an emerald with that particular course of makes it strategy to Gübelin for grading, Gübelin gemologists can decide it was mined at Kagem and hint it again to the supply.

To offer you a greater perspective on rarity and shortage of emeralds, yield out of 100 tons of waste is just one ton of ore which solely 50 grams of emerald and beryl combine is recovered from that ore, and 0.3 grams of premium emerald is recovered on common from the emerald and beryl combine.

Notice: There’s a NO CAMERA coverage all through the mine web site and working amenities, however we have been granted particular permission to hold our digital camera/telephones in all places and offered entry to restricted areas to document and movie as we wished, and share our unbiased opinion of the mine and its practices.

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Remainder of the day spent driving across the space and visiting group tasks as a part of Kagem social sustainability program; constructing faculties, hospitals and sponsoring agricultural initiatives. We managed to work together with college principals and academics and have a greater understanding of how group tasks are very important for the realm and locals to thrive.

1% of Kagem Emerald Mine income is allotted to fund group and conservation tasks. Delivering long run advantages to local people in well being, schooling and livelihood is a part of Kagem three key values: Transparency, Legitimacy and Integrity.

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25% of Kagem is owned by Zambian Authorities and 75% by Gemfields. Gemfields took over Kagem again in 2008 and as of 2022, Kagem has 1250 direct workers and 413 workers by contractors. As per interim report dated June 30 2022, Kagem first half-year public sale revenues totalled in $85.2 million, an all time document excessive for Kagem. For the reason that first public sale in July 2009, 41 auctions have taken place which generated $835.3 million in complete revenues. All this data is accessible to public by Gemfields web site. Kagem produced 109.6 thousand carats of premium high quality emeralds for the six months ended June thirtieth 2022 whereas dealing with 5.8 million tonnes of rocks and waste.

Our final night coincided with award ceremony which was held to acknowledge workers for his or her efforts. And adopted by an eye fixed opening speech by Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields about moral mining practices, social duty, immense development of income and imaginative and prescient for the long run. Nice strategy to say goodbye to Kagem Emerald Mine. (You may watch snippets of the speech on my Instagram Zambia highlights)

The following day, 4 of us launched into an all day journey from Kagem to Ndola, Ndola to Lusaka and Lusaka to Livingstone! By night we have been standing on the Zambezi river within the lovely city of Livingstone. Spent two days visiting the Victoria Falls, cruising Zambezi river to see wild life and stayed in probably the most great resort: The Royal Livingstone Lodge with wild life roaming the grounds.

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Finally needed to say goodbye to the gorgeous Africa and head house however nonetheless after 6 weeks for the reason that journey, I’m reeling on the great and unforgettable recollections.

Goodbye Africa! with Tracey aka TheDiamondsGirl

My honest because of Eshed Gemstar for the preliminary introduction, Gemfields Group, Kagem Mining Ltd, administration and the entire workforce in London and Ndola for arranging every thing, their heat welcome and excellent hospitality throughout this journey, making this expertise an unforgettable one!