Tanzanian Miner Turns Overnight Millionaire After Selling Two Big Tanzanite Gemstones For $3.4m

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A small-scale miner in Tanzania, Saniniu Laizer, has become an overnight millionaire after selling two huge Tanzanite stones, which together weigh 15kg (33lb).
The two gemstones – one weighing 9.2kg and the other 5.8kg – are the largest Tanzanite rocks ever mined, according to the mining ministry.
According to some sources, the largest rough Tanzanite stone on record weighed 3.38kg and was mined by TanzaniteOne in 2005.
It is not known when Mr. Laizer, from Manyara in northern Tanzania, unearthed the gems, but on Wednesday the 52-year-old sold them to the government, through the mining ministry, for a total of 7.8bn Tanzanian shillings ($3.4m; £2.7m).
Mr. Laizer told the BBC he planned to hold a party at home for friends and family where he would slaughter a cow to celebrate his extraordinary find.
He also said he hoped to build a shopping mall and a school.
During a ceremony in Manyara, President John Magufuli phoned in to congratulate Mr. Laizer.
“This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich,” the president said.
Mr. Magufuli came to power with a promise to safeguard the nation’s interests in the mining sector and increase government revenue from the sector.
In 2017, he ordered the military to build a 24km (15-mile) perimeter wall around the site believed to be the world’s only source of Tanzanite – a 4km section at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro.
A year later, the government reported an increase in revenue in the mining sector and attributed the rise to the construction of the wall, saying it had curbed smuggling.
Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on earth and, according to the University of Pennsylvania, one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.
Source: BBC Africa.

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