Sunday, June 23, 2024

Kagem Dismisses Assertions by Chief Nkana that Communities have not benefited from Minerals in the District

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Kagem Mining Limited has reacted sharply to comments suggesting that people in the Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt have not benefited much from minerals because it owns the bigger chunk of high-quality emerald deposits that can be subdivided to accommodate more investors.

Chief Nkana of the Lamba people in Lufwanyama District has called on the government to unlock Lufwanyama’s mining area for more investment by sub-dividing the Kagem Mine area.

In a recent interview at his palace, Chief Nkana stated that Kagem Mine alone is sitting on more than 50 square Kilometers of land that can accommodate many investors if subdivided.

But in a media statement, Kagem Chief Executive Officer Sean Gilbertson said the mining firm has noted with concern the claims that the company has not supported the communities around its mine in Lufwanyama District.

Gilbertson said the bad publicity against Kagem is stemming from a small number of disaffected parties who have a long-standing commercial dispute with Kagem.

“Mining companies should be regarded as professional service providers who should act as responsible and transparent custodians of the host nation’s mineral resources. Without transparency there can be no proper accountability. We are not aware of any other emerald project in history that has delivered more value in absolute terms, or as large a proportion of true resource value, to a host nation. With two record-breaking emerald auctions already held in 2022, Zambia’s emerald resources are delivering more in-country earnings and benefits than ever before”, said Gilbertson in a statement issued by Langmead Communications Managing Director Gillian Langmead.

“Kagem Mining Limited has noted with concern a press article claiming that the company has not supported the communities around its mine in Lufwanyama District. These allegations are unfounded and stem from a small number of disaffected parties who have a long standing commercial dispute with Kagem. The dispute centres on how, under the preceding government, Bisma Investments Limited obtained a mining licence inside the long-standing Kagem licence in contravention of Zambian law. Kagem is 75% owned by Gemfields in a model partnership with the Zambian government, which holds 25% via IDC. Kagem has operated in Lufwanyama with this ownership model since 2008, when Zambia was the world’s third largest emerald producer after Brazil and Colombia,” Langmead wrote.

We are not aware of any other emerald project in history that has delivered more value in absolute terms, or as large a proportion of true resource value, to a host nation. With two record-breaking emerald auctions already held in 2022, Zambia’s emerald resources are delivering more in-country earnings and benefits than ever before”

“Today, Zambia is the world’s no. 1 emerald producer and Kagem is the world’s largest emerald mine, an achievement of which all Zambians should be proud. Kagem has invested considerably in health, education and livelihood projects within the surrounding communities. Examples include the Nkana Health Centre, the Chapula Secondary School, the Chapula Primary School, teachers’ accommodation at the Kapila Community School and support for the Blessing, Kapila Green Farms, Twende and Twasanta agricultural projects. Kagem has recently pledged USD 220,000 (K3.7 million) to support the Lumpuma Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society farming initiative, a project specifically designed to provide sustainable livelihoods for youths and to avoid their being exposed by syndicates to the many safety dangers prevalent in waste-dump digging where injury rates are both high and unreported,” he said.

Langmead said Kagem Mine is committed to transparency and accountability.

“Kagem’s projects include work specifically benefitting traditional chiefs, such as improvements to the palaces of Chief Nkana and Chief Lumpuma as well as rehabilitation of the 18.7km road connecting Chief Nkana and Chief Lumpuma’s chiefdoms from Kandole to Kafwaya village in Lufwanyama district. Just this week, Kagem signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Zambia (UNZA) to further the support that has been provided to students from the geological and mining engineering departments for more than eight years. Operationally, Kagem provides 1,150 direct jobs, with 94% of the workforce being Zambian citizens. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kagem’s principal operations were suspended for a year but no redundancies were made and employees continued to receive a monthly salary throughout,” he said.

Langmead concluded:”In furthering its commitment to transparency and accountability, Kagem pioneered the ‘G-Factor for Natural Resources’, a new measure promoting greater transparency regarding the percentage of a nation’s natural resource wealth that is shared with the host government. In the last ten years Kagem has paid more than US$ 123.6 million in mineral royalties, corporation tax and dividends to the Zambian Government, amounting to more than 18% of Kagem’s revenue during that period. Kagem invites other Zambian emerald producers to publish their G-Factors so that their contributions are also transparent for all stakeholders, including Zambia’s citizens, to see.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. I advise Kagem to make peace with the Chief. It’s important that they understand our traditions when dealing with traditional leaders. Chief Nkana has expressed his frustrations that have accumulated since 1972 when serious emerald mining began in his chiefdom. Who can dispute his statement that his people haven’t benefitted from this resource? These stones are spiritual, if you don’t make peace as advised you’ll remember me. I’ll not give examples of what others experienced. You can dig the history of Luanshya mine, Senior Chief Mushili and Chlupula the white man. It’s documented.

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  2. More of a damage control than redressing issues raised by Chief Nkana. Actually sounds defensive! Just smacks of insincerity. Why completely sideline the Chief, yet go to the media? Mr Gilbertson should be talking to the Chief directly.

    #plant a tree please.

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  3. The chief is right……….

    50 sq km for one mine is too much…………

    GRZ should look at repartitioning some of this mine and have a 100 % GRZ owned mine where 100 % of proceeds remain in zambia

  4. Kagem is 75% owned by Gemfields in a model partnership with the Zambian government, which holds 25% via IDC. 75% angainst 25% is what is called a lion’s share of our resources.

  5. I stand with Chief/King Nkana on this one. “wako ni wako”. We only have a 25 percent stake in the Worlds largest Emarald mine? How can we take this mine back too?

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