|Diamantaire Lev Leviev has reportedly now bought a 50 percent share in Zambia's Grizzly emerald mine.
Managing Director of Leviev's Namibian unit, Kombadayedu Kapwanga, has reportedly confirmed in a phone interview with Bloomberg news that Leviev has bought a 50 percent share of the Grizzly emerald mine (reportedly renamed Gemcanton Investments Holdings), in Zambia's Copperbelt province. Kapwanga also confirmed that Leviev's Israel-based diamond unit had been used to facilitate the purchase.
The news source notes that the Zambia company registry shows Gemcanton is jointly owned by two companies: British Virgin Islands-based Frango Finance Ltd. and Wolle Mining Limited.
The largest production of emeralds in Zambia is reportedly from the Kagem mine, 75-percent owned by Gemfields and 25-percent owned by the Government of Zambia. According to Gemfields' 2016 financial report, Kagem currently produces around 30 million carats of emerald and beryl (combined) a year, with Gemfields anticipating an increase in annual production over the next three years, to 40 million carats a year.Data available from Gemfields' financial reports show per carat values for higher quality emerald auction sales by the company have risen enormously, going from around US$5 per carat in late 2009, up to around US$70 per carat in early 2016.