A Zambian company, Mutinta Jewellery has invested over US$3.2 million into a diamond and gemstone processing plant which is expected to manufacture jewellery from diamonds, gemstones and other precious stones.
The plant which is set to operate fully before end of August 2020 has projected production of over 15 to 25,000 carats per annum and is expected to directly employ about 200 Zambians at the plant while about 100 individuals will be indirectly hired.
Speaking during a tour of Mutinta Jewellery and Gemstone processing plant in Lusaka on July 30, 2020, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development Barnaby Mulenga pledged the ministry’s support to the company as it is in line with government’s policy of value addition and empowerment of local entrepreneurs.
Mulenga is pleased that the development of the processing plant will promote value addition as the industry is currently exporting raw gemstones before processing, hence the set up of a local processing plant will enable small scale miners sell their precious stones in raw form, which can then Ben polished locally before exporting.
He said the ministry of Mines in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry will enable trade facilitation for the company to easily penetrate the regional markets as this will help in developing the sector and generate more forex for the country.
“We want to pledge our commitment in supporting this company as this is a very good investment and will definitely bring in value addition, so we will help you with trade facilitation so that you have a market and its good you will be polishing already existing stones,” the Mines PS said.
He added that government therefore looks forward to the exploitation of Zambian precious stones and gemstones and has encouraged Zambian small scale miners to take advantage of this facility that will create a local market.
And Mutinta Jewellery Chairperson Msafiri Sinkala said the set up processing plant is meant to make Zambia a market place for diamonds, gemstones and other precious stones for Jewellery and empower small scale miners to bring their stones for processing and earn better returns on their efforts.
“We have also engaged experts from China who are transferring skills to Zambians and we have already started doing a test run for most of the machines and will want to make sure that everything is up and running without any problem before full operations begin in August,” he added.