•The firm will provide marketing, branding, and advisory services to ensure their production of rare gemstones fetches the best-expected price.
•It plans to raise earnings by four times per gemstone found and sold, varying according to the weight of the gems found.
Artisanal miners in Kenya are set for a major boost as renowned luxury jewellers– Rosenkrantz Africa moves to connect them with buyers in the international markets.
The partnership with Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASMs) in the country is mainly on gemstones, which will ensure they reach the right clientele, fetching better prices and global recognition which in turn, benefit the areas they operate in.
An artisanal miner or small-scale miner is someone not officially employed by a mining company, but rather, works independently, mining or panning for minerals using their own resources.
Some are contracted by local companies to produce minerals.
It is estimated that about 100,000 people are directly engaged in artisanal mining in Kenya, majority who have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic which has reduced small-scale mining activities and market access.
There has been an in mining inputs, price depreciation for small-scale miners and scarcity in mining expertise.
With the partnerships, Rosenkrantz Africa fosters links between miners in Southern Kenya and their regional and international clientele in Europe, the Middle-East, Southeast Asia, and America, focusing on the sale of tsavorites.
The partnership agreement includes a clause indicating that five per cent of proceeds from the sale via the programme will be set aside to benefit the mining community as decided by the miners.
As artisanal and small-scale miners work the hardest, but only seldom reap the fruits of their efforts, we will provide them with the marketing, branding, and advisory services to ensure their production of rare gemstones fetches the bestIver Rosenkrantz, Founder and CEO Rosenkrantz Gems Limited
This is done to further empower the artisanal and small-scale miners and demonstrate that they are capable of social good – not only for their families, but also for their communities.
“This partnership ensures that miners receive a larger piece of the pie – a win-win for the essential stakeholders in the gemstone and jewellery industry,” Rosenkrantz Africa says in a statement.
Sam Maina, CEO Excel Mining Limited in Taita Taveta County, noted; “Our partnership with Rosenkrantz Africa comes at an opportune moment, as we have begun extracting gem-quality tsavorite and tourmaline. Our affiliation ensures that our gemstones reach the right clientele, fetching us better prices.”
Before partnerships are signed, Rosenkrantz Africa carry out a mine visit to ascertain that all miners and their operations meet the highest standards aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; guaranteed safety and health at the mine, environmental management and fair remuneration of the mineworkers.
According to Iver Rosenkrantz, Founder and CEO Rosenkrantz Gems Limited, partnerships and collaborations in the mining industry are a vital and sure way to grow the industry in rural Africa.
“As artisanal and small-scale miners work the hardest, but only seldom reap the fruits of their efforts, we will provide them with the marketing, branding, and advisory services to ensure their production of rare gemstones fetches the best-expected price,” Rosenkrantz said.
To guarantee the transparency and traceability of each gem, Rosenkrantz Africa will document each step of the mining process–the geology of the mine, the gem extraction done by which miner, cutting and polishing, certification, setting into jewellery and finally the presentation to potential clients.
Small-scale mining activities are spread across different parts of the country, among them the coastal region, Mbeere and Tharaka which are known for gemstone mining while in the Western region, gold mining is a major community activity within Kakamega, Migori, Trans Mara and Narok counties.
Since the 1960s, the country has been producing tourmalines, rubies, sapphires, and garnets.
In 2018, the yearly output was estimated to be 508 tonnes of rough gemstones, which amounted to approximately 14,500 carats cut gems.
Miners receive about Sh20,000 and Sh60,000 monthly, with only few miners having agreements with mine owners to share revenue once gems are sold.
Rosenkrantz Africa plans to raise this to four times as much per gemstone found and sold, varying according to the weight of the gems found.
“It is the ambition of Rosenkrantz Africa to enter into five to 10 partnerships during the first year of the initiative,” it said.