Kagem Emerald Mine

About Kagem

Let us introduce you to Kagem, believed to be the world’s single largest emerald producing mine.

Located in the southern part of Zambia’s copper belt, this open-pit mine lies in the centre of a mineral-rich province called the Ndola Rural Emerald Restricted Area.

Following the liberalisation of mining in the early 1990s, Zambia has become one of the most valuable emerald sources in the world.

Since acquiring the Kagem mine in 2008, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Gemfields’ investment has stabilised and standardised the supply of emeralds, transforming the operation and the communities that surround it.


Emerald Mining at Kagem

How Emeralds Are Formed

Emeralds can only form when two different rock types with contrasting characteristics meet each other under unique geological conditions, making it one of the rarest gemstones in the world.

For Zambian emeralds – which are among the oldest on earth – this was the combination of the circa 1.6 billion-year-old high-grade metamorphic rock named the Talc Magnetite Schist (TMS) and the younger circa 500-million-year-old intruding pegmatite.