Zambia's largest emerald producer Kagem Mining Limited intends to hold two local auctions this year after three successful sales in 2013, its holding company said on Monday.
The two gemstone auctions, one to consist of predominantly higher quality emeralds and one of predominantly lower quality emeralds and beryle, will be held in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia in, the next five months, according to London-listed Gemfields Plc. The company owns 75 percent of Kagem, while the remaining shares are held by the Zambian government.
"We were extremely pleased with the record-setting emerald auction held in Lusaka in November 2013 and are buoyed by the ongoing increase in global demand for emeralds and other colored gemstones," Ian Harebottle, the company's chief executive officer said in the statement.
Last year's auctions raised 15.2 million U.S. dollars, 31.5 million dollars, and 16.4 million dollars respectively.
The company decided to hold its auctions locally following the government's decision to ban foreign sales of the green precious stones, in a move to protect the country from unscrupulous buyers and keep the gem wealth within the country.