By CLOZZEN BIKALE
Kagem Mining has delivered a USD 1.5 million dividend to the Zambian Government’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
The dividend, the first since 2016, is in addition to the USD 5.6 million mineral royalty tax paid on the sale of emeralds at auction during 2021 and the USD 11.9 million corporation tax payable for the year ended 31 December 2021.
Kagem Board Chair, Dr Sixtus Mulenga said Kagem is pleased to deliver this dividend, which speaks to values of transparency, legitimacy and integrity.
Mr Mulenga said this is a clear demonstration of the successful model partnership between Kagem and the Government through the IDC.He said the dividend also demonstrates that Kagem has weathered the challenges of Covid-19 to deliver a record performance for 2021.
Kagem was significantly affected, with a suspension on operations in place for a year from March 2020. Yet the mine protected the jobs of every employee by paying salaries to the employees and sheltering them from redundancy despite negligible revenue and zero productivity, thanks to the support from Kagem’s parent company and main shareholder – Gemfields. Kagem underwent a phased resumption of operations from March 2021, with operations reaching normal capacity by the end of May 2021.
IDC Acting Group CEO Henry Sakala said the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic had an adverse impact on both the global and local economies across all sectors.
The newly introduced “multi-city viewing with online bidding” auction format has provided greater flexibility in the ever-changing market circumstances, explained Gemfields, which owns 75% of Kagem in partnership with the IDC.
During 2021, Gem-fields invested USD 2.3 million on upgrading mining and ancillary equipment and infrastructure improvements to ensure the mine is Covid-19 compliant.
“We extend sincere thanks to our 2,500 team members worldwide, to our host governments, to our business partners, our customers and our shareholders for their ongoing support. We look forward immensely to harnessing the opportunities and navigating the challenges in the year ahead,” said Gemfields Chief Executive Officer, Sean Gilbertson.