“I am Flore-Annie. My experience in gemstones started way back 1989, an activity introduced to me by my late father Placid Thom Kamanga who worked in the Congo JECAMIN mines for many years. My father was born of a Malawian father and a Congolese mother. My late grandpa left Malawi for Congo in 1940’s to work in the mines. He rose to Personnel Manager, and retired in 1972 when he returned to his late father’s home Malawi.
After 14 years of farming, he retired from active life and went to settle in Mzimba, his home district where he came across artisanal miners. With his background, he quickly networked with the artisanal miners and started sponsoring some.
Knowing my life, my late dad invited me in 1989 to explain to me of his discovery of artisanal miners in Mzimba and asked me if I would be interested to have a mine. I quickly accepted, and one of the artisanal miners gave me one of his Rose Quartz/Aquamarine mines. He taught me basics of mining, what I was to be looking for, how the stone must look like when extracted so it can fetch a market, color, clarity, size, smoothness. It was then, that I went back to my base, bought equipment to start mining. I applied for a claim and started mining immediately in the Perekezi Forest in Mzimba. I was so much interested as was able to produce and sale the extractions for good monies.
My passion for mining grew stronger and stronger. I exported to Tanzania ten ton trucks of Rose Quarts twice and sold Aquamarine to Zambians.
In 1994, I came across artisanal miners in Zomba District who introduced to me many more other types of stones like, Feldspars, Aegirine, Zircon, Tourmalines, Quartz which I exported to South Africa many times. My life style grew to the heights of celebrities because of big sums of monies I was realizing after sales of the Zomba Malosa specimens to South African gemstones buyers.
In 2002, an Association of Women in Mining was born. I registered as a member. In 2011, I also registered as a member of Gemstone Association of Malawi.
Till 2011, gemstone business was for a chosen few, stones were affordable. After liberalization of mining industry, too much competition flooded the industry, and control of source of rough material became impossible due to too much demand and price escalation. I resorted to concentrate in buying and selling of gemstones, of which am still doing to date. Through my observation, I realized that best stones were being purchased from the mine, so best way was to do the actual mining to realize best gem stones.
With the little experience and much passion that I have in mining, I found myself recruited by the MUST University in Malawi as a Mentee for Incubates in Job for Youth in Mining and Processing, where we started an Association for Youth in Mining and I chair the group. Further, I lead a Women Group in Mining, Energy, Extractive and Craft. Where we want to uplift women and girl child.
I intend to die a Billionaire by supplying Malawi colored stones to my prospect buyers of whom have enquired for bulk supply.
Director FPP Gemstones & Jewelry Dealers