I approach you personally, for I am constantly facing a wall of objection. I am seriously interested in the gemstone industry from mining to the finished product. I have set up business plans, been in contact with many people around the world, as well as visiting various countries. People are generally afraid to invest in Africa, or lack knowledge in the viability of gemstones!
I have two related prospects, neither requiring large sums of money. One project is to develop emerald mines in Ndola and the other is to start a series of gemstone factories around Southern Africa quite different from the lapidaries in operation at present.
Southern Africa has the largest and most abundant mineral deposits in the world. In this region we have just about every variety of gemstones found anywhere in the world and plenty thereof. Many of these deposits are not yet discovered or mined, due to the larger corporations concentrating on Gold, Silver, Copper and Diamonds. The other minerals, especially gemstones, are orphans.
Gemstones are mined by small operators at great cost, even that of life. They are sold on the market to foreigners from countries like India, Thailand, Holland, Israel, etc. for a 'market related price'. Those people take the gems to their own country, cut and polish them at a low production cost and sell them at much inflated profits.
Why not retain a larger percentage of this lucrative market in Africa for Africa? We should and can certainly make use of our own wealth more successfully! For every one million dollar the African country receives for its rough gems, the country where the rough is formed into a gemstone is receiving $1.3 million or more.
I have designed machinery that would require very little expertise to operate. Some of the machines are semi-automated, VERY accurate and able to be operated at low cost. All the equipment will be manufactured in our own workshops.
Setting up a factory to polish in excess of 20,000 gemstones per month, employing approximately 50 people, and showing a profit of more than $30,000 per month when fully on line, will only cost around $80,000 - perhaps even less.
But this is not the end of my project. The ideal is to establish a main lapidary / factory, then expand with satellite factories costing in the range of $15,000 each. These could be established in the mining areas and concentrate on the lower cost gemstones. Each satellite factory will have the initial ability to produce more than 5,000 gemstones per month. The people running these lapidaries will be trained in the main factory and work on a franchise basis.
Once the main lapidary is fully on line, we can expand to employ around 200 people and perhaps another 100 working in satellite lapidaries - in less than 18 months. This group would then be able to process more than FIVE MILLION gemstones per year or SEVEN tons of rough material.
The additional spin-off from this would be the manufacturing of jewellery, carving of gemstones, gemstone inlay in marble plus other options to create more wealth, labour and development of gemstone mines.
To suppress the smuggling trade of rough gemstones from your esteemed country will not be an easy task. However, selling a polished gemstone will surely be more profitable for your country and its people, thus eventually reducing the smuggling due to the lower profit margin. At the same time, it will give the people on the street and small miners a place where they can sell their gemstones at a realistic price.
With the imminent after-effects of El Nino, the uplifting of the gemstone industry will have a very positive effect on Zambias foreign trade.
This venture will need to be initiated as soon as possible. Should you be able to assist me with the start up funds in the form of investment or a loan, I would appreciate it very much. Optionally, if you can possibly put me in contact with people who might be willing and/or able to fund this project. The monetary requirement is not a large one, considering the future potential.
I do hope to hear from you soon and would like to meet at your convenience.
Thank you for your time.
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