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Zimbaqua is the World’s first sustainable mine empowering women in rural communities through mining. We are working closely with the community leaders to ensure that we positively impact their communities with our priority being the education and wellbeing of children.
We wish to positively contribute to the national economy as well as the local economy of the communities around the mine. We believe in value-adding through sustainability and positive stories about the extraction of minerals. We believe that transparency, responsibility, and traceability are the future of mining.
It is our vision to become the leading supplier of responsibly sourced aquamarine and build the World’s first all women mining empire.
It is our mission to supply sustainably mined aquamarines to the international jewelry industry and offer a product competitive in both price and quality.
The Karoi District
Karoi is located near the border of Zambia in the northern part of Zimbabwe. The Zimbaqua mine covers approximately 50 hectares of virgin mining land – an area known both for its fertile soil and significant gemstone deposits.
The district is located in Mashonaland West Province Mashonaland West Province, in north central Zimbabwe. Its main town, Karoi, is about 200 kilometers northwest of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.
Most people ask this question when they hear about Zimbaqua, so allow us to give you a little background.
The mining sector is highly conservative and male-dominated. Many women in areas like Karoi have been forced into illegal, artisanal mining in order to survive. This is a common problem in many poor parts of Africa. There are even stories of women disguising themselves as men, in order to avoid getting harassed.
Ever since Zimbaqua was founded, we have been met with surprise and wonder. “Women cannot do this job,” is one of the most common remarks we hear. But we beg to differ. Creating an environment where the women are in charge, has allowed all our employees to feel comfortable.
We have chosen to empower women through mining because we believe there is a need for change and inclusivity. Unemployment in rural areas of Zimbabwe is a big challenge thus, opportunities for women are very few. Many of our employees are single mothers who have been struggling to feed and offer their children basic needs. We are setting a new standard for mining and creating opportunities for women, ultimately uplifting and improving their living standards.
“The name “Aquamarine” originates from the Latin meaning “water of the sea” and is the blue to blue-green variety of Beryl. Its beautifully delicate blue colour is derived from iron. Other well-known gem varieties of Beryl include emerald, morganite, and heliodor.
Aquamarine is formed when magma under the earth's crust interacts with mineral-rich rocks (pegmatites). The aquamarine is formed in pegmatites once these rocks are heated and interact with the magma. The pegmatites are formed in the final stages of magma crystallisation.
Because of the way aquamarine is formed, it is found mainly in rocky or mountainous areas of the world – in particular Africa, India, South America, Russia, and North America.”
The Zimbaqua mine was founded in a rural area where people traditionally farm tobacco and maize. Starting a mine from scratch is not for the faint of heart, it is a daunting task that takes time. Once we had found the appropriate location for the mine, we held meetings with the chief and community leaders to discuss the project. Everyone seemed to be surprised by our intention to only employ women, nonetheless, no one was against the idea, just a bit puzzled.
Once we were given the go-ahead and support from the community, we took the time to meet with each farmer, whose land was affected by the mine to discuss the way forward. Each of the farmers within the mining area got a new piece of land and we built them a new house in place on the one they had to abandon.
In the spirit of ensuring that all parties were satisfied and content, we performed the necessary local traditional and customary ceremonies as well as met the legal requirements that included; carrying out environmental assessments and obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses.
It is vital to us, that we have the support of the community as well as the government, before commencing our mining operations. Furthermore, we strive to operate at the highest standard, which is why we aim to align our approach with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
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