BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
KAGEM is considering an option of buying body scanners in Zambia to minimise thefts of gemstones, Gemfields Limited chief executive officer, Sean Gilbertson has said.
Mr Gilbertson explained that such measures could assist to improve the mine’s profitability.
He was speaking recently when a Zambian delegation visited Gemfields limited operations in Mozambique.
The delegation, was led by Dr Sixtus Mulenga, Kagem Board chairman and Mr Paul Chanda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines among others. “Within the constraints of our budget, Kagem is always looking at ways to improve its production and sorting process. Body scanners are one option we are looking at in order to minimise leakages.
“Such measures can help improve the mine’s profitability, enabling the company to expand its operations across the license area providing more jobs for Zambian people, an increase in contributions to local community projects, and tax payments to the nation,” Mr Gilbertson said.
Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Joseph Chewe, said the introduction of body scanner in Zambia would strengthen security and protect workers’ jobs at the mines.
Mr Chewe explained that the scanners would eliminate physical contacts which tempted workers.
“We have seen the technology that has been brought to Mozambique in terms of the gemstone mining, which is marvellous.
“There is no physical contact of the ruby, and from the other side (Zambia) we have recorded quite a number of thefts, leading to dismissal of our members,” Mr Chewe said.
Meanwhile, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) President James Chansa emphasised the importance of Zambia moving at the same pace with technology.
“For me, first of all you eliminate the touching of these minerals, meaning the chances of anyone stealing are very, very rare, and if you are not stealing then you are safeguarding your job. I would want to see this technology being employed in Zambia,” Mr Chansa said