Grizzly Emerald Mine in Lufwanyama has put its over 800 workers on permanent – and pensionable – employment. The miners used to be employed on a casual basis, but Grizzly has now signed a collective agreement with the National Union of Mines and Allied Workers. The mining company has also awarded its workers salary increases of 17% in 2017 and 21% in 2018.
Grizzly has been pushing its production since Gemcanton of Israel bought a 50% stake in Grizzly Mining Limited in late 2016. Since then, the number of employees has increased from about 340, and Grizzly is aiming at increasing its annual production of emeralds from 51 kilogrammes in 2016 to 60 kilogrammes in 2017. In comparison, the world’s single largest producer of emeralds, Kagem Emerald Mine, which is also found in Lufwanyama, produced about 7,000 kilogrammes in 2016.