"As Porini Gems progresses, it aims to assume a pivotal role in positioning Kenya as a significant player in the global gemstone market."
Can you discuss the decision-making behind the strategic move to acquire mining areas in 2023?
In 2023, Porini Gems achieved a significant milestone by successfully acquiring a substantial mining area covering 743 acres with 49 mining claims. This allows us to conduct independent mining operations, eliminating the need for external partnerships. The initiation of a manufacturing plant for cutting gemstones represents a major highlight, which is intended to streamline regional gemstone processing. A feasibility study by a South African consulting firm is currently underway, with anticipated completion in the next 3 to 4 months.
What mining methods are being considered for gemstones, considering the topography of the land?
Considering the flat topography of the land and the proximity to a National Park, Porini Gems is leaning towards a tunnel-based mining approach. This method is chosen to minimize environmental impact and address concerns about disturbing animal routes. A detailed drone survey has been conducted to map animal movements in the area, providing valuable insights for responsible mining practices and potential coexistence with wildlife.
While the mining area is distant from settlements, Porini Gems envisions a positive impact on the local community through significant job creation. The project aims to generate employment not only in mining operations but also in supporting roles for maintaining and managing the area. This initiative is expected to contribute to socio-economic development, bringing economic stability to the region.
What influenced the decision to have mining, processing, and manufacturing all on-site in Kenya?
The decision to centralize operations in Kenya is driven by the belief that it will enhance efficiency and contribute to the local economy. By having all operations on-site, Porini Gems aims to optimize processes and reduce reliance on external sources, aligning with both economic and sustainability goals. This approach also minimizes the environmental impact associated with transporting materials to and from external locations.
Can you provide an update on Porini Gems' portfolio?
Porini Gems has diversified its portfolio to include loose stones, custom-made jewelry, pearls, and minerals. The notable trend observed is a surge in orders for jewelry, leading to collaborations with local jewelers specializing in handmade gold jewelry. The incorporation of diamonds sourced from within the continent further enhances the unique and authentic nature of the jewelry.
Tsavorite has experienced increased demand, surpassing other types, prompting exploration into incorporating minerals into the product offerings. Tsavorite gemstones, originating from the Tsavo region, are highly sought after due to their exceptional luster and brilliance. Their unique characteristics, often surpassing emeralds in terms of luster, make them increasingly coveted globally. The scarcity of large Tsavorite gemstones adds to their desirability. Anticipated impacts on Kenya's gemstone industry include heightened global attention, potentially contributing to economic growth, and establishing Kenya as a prominent player in the gemstone market.
What are your key priorities for Porini Gems in the coming two years?
In the past, there was a lack of interest from higher learning institutions for gemology courses. Porini Gems remains committed to the initiative and is exploring alternative approaches. Efforts to collaborate with external experts for on-site courses in Kenya are underway. Establishing a comprehensive education program covering diamonds, colored stones, pearls, and more is a long-term goal, emphasizing skill development within the region.
In the coming 12 to 24 months, Porini Gems will focus on developing the mining project. The company looks forward to integrating on-site mining, processing, and manufacturing to enhance operational efficiency and foster economic growth in the region. Education initiatives and value addition continue to be central to the company's vision. Porini Gems is open to collaborating with experts to strengthen capabilities and further boost the growth of the gemstone industry in Kenya. As Porini Gems progresses, it aims to assume a pivotal role in positioning Kenya as a significant player in the global gemstone market.