Easing of COVID restrictions sees firm producing 1, 600 tonnes of amethyst
Kariba Minerals Limited (KML) produced 1, 600 tonnes of amethyst last year against a target of 1,200 tonnes following relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in China and India.
The company, which is a subsidiary of ZCCM- Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has been operating for over 60 years, producing over 90% of amethyst in Mapatizya and Sinazongwe in Southern Province.
ZCCM-IH corporate affairs manager, Loisa Mbatha said in a statement of Friday that COVID-19 affected the company’s sales, which fell by 50% in 2020.
“However, by 2021, markets in Asia, in particular China and India, started opening up and the company started exporting in the fourth quarter of 2021 resulting in an increase of production last year,” Ms Mbatha said.
KML recently expanded its value-addition projects to include gemstone cutting and polishing such as cabochon, facets, carvings, beads and gemstone trading.
Ms Mbatha said plans are in the pipeline to open a jewellery retail store and firm has secured an outlet at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.
KML is also manufacturing amethyst stone tops such as kitchen tops, tabletops, tiles, and tombstones, among others.
It has commenced local sales for low-grade amethyst which has created over 150 jobs.
Ms Mbatha said KML is also creating opportunities by partnering with local mine licence owners to increase production and supply to international markets.