Kagem Company Limited has recorded 3.5 million injury-free shifts at its Lufwanyama shaft setting a new safety record for the mining industry in Zambia.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma who toured the mine and presented the company with a certificate from the Mines Safety Department said it is gratifying that the company has achieved over 3 million injury-free shifts since Gemfields became a shareholder in 2008.
Mr Yaluma said the marking of 3,599,678 lost time injury-free shifts which is a world class achievement is impressive
He said it is encouraging that health and safety practices are embedded across the entire mining and processing operation, with appropriate and specific training and awareness programmes ensuring that employees are responsible at both a corporate and individual level.
Mr Yaluma applauded Kagem’s continued investment in the mining sector and its efforts to promote Zambia as a reliable, secure and ethical source of gemstones to the international market.
He also highlighted a number of aspects that made Kagem a model for the industry, including its extensive capital investment, manpower development, timely payment of royalties and tax, and its pioneering approach to transparency.
He also praised the company for ensuring that all employees were permanent and pensionable, and for its extensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
Kagem and Gemfields Chief Executive Officer Ian Harebottle said the company is the flag-bearer for the Zambian gemstone sector and one of the finest examples of what can be achieved in partnerships between governments and foreign investors in the mining sphere.
He said Kagem works to ensure that maximum benefit for all stakeholders in terms of financial, economic, social and environmental is achieved.