Small-scale Tanzanian Miner Becomes Overnight Millionaire

By 02:30 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 Comments



A small-scale miner in Tanzania has become an overnight millionaire after selling two rough Tanzanite stones - the biggest ever find in the country.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Saniniu Laizer earned £2.4m ($3.4m) from the country's mining ministry for the gemstones, which had a combined weight of 15kg (33 lb).(Wapbaze_Copyright)

"There will be a big party tomorrow," Mr Laizer, a father of more than 30 children, told the BBC.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

It is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The precious stone's appeal lies in its variety of hues, including green, red, purple and blue.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Its value is determined by rarity - the finer the colour or clarity, the higher the price.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Mr Laizer mined the stones, weighing 9.2kg and 5.8kg, last week, but he sold them on Wednesday during a trading event in the northern region of Manyara.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Until now the largest Tanzanite rock to be mined weighed 3.3kg.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

President John Magufuli phoned in to congratulate Mr Laizer on the find.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

"This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich," the president said.(Wapbaze_Copyright)


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