Tanzanite: Tanzanian miner becomes overnight millionaire

Saniniu Laizer sold two Tanzanite stones, with a combined weight of 15kg, for £2.4m.

Tanzanite: Tanzanian miner becomes overnight millionaire

Mr Laizer - holding up the precious stones - plans to build a school and a shopping centre in his community

Image copyrightTanzania Ministry of Minerals


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

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).

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

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

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. 

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

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

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.

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

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

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

 

Mr Magufuli came to power in 2015 promising to safeguard the nation's interest in the mining sector and increase the government's revenue from it.

What did the new millionaire say?

Mr Laizer, 52, who has four wives, said he would slaughter one of his cows to celebrate.

He also plans to invest in his community in Simanjiro district in Manyara.

"I want to build a shopping mall and a school. I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can't afford to take their children to school."

"I am not educated but I like things run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally."

He said the windfall would not change his lifestyle, and that he planned to continue looking after his 2,000 cows. He said he did not need to take any extra precautions despite his new-found riches.

"There is enough security [here]. There won't be any problem. I can even walk around at night without any problem."

Some small-scale miners like Mr Laizer acquire government licences to prospect for Tanzanite, but illegal mining is prevalent especially near mines owned by big companies.

In 2017, President Magufuli ordered the military to build a 24km (14-mile) perimeter wall around the Merelani mining site in Manyara, believed to be the world's only source of Tanzanite.

A year later, the government reported an increase in revenue in the mining sector and attributed the rise to the construction of the wall, the BBC's Sammy Awami in Dar es Salaam reports.

BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Social insurance policy - Welfare fulcrum of the people
Social insurance policy - Welfare fulcrum of the people
SOCIETYicon  01/06/2020 

On May 23, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) and the Vietnam Post (VNPost) jointly organized the launching ceremony to respond to the month-long campaign that calls for people to participate in voluntary social insurance.

Comprehensive reform of social insurance propaganda
Comprehensive reform of social insurance propaganda
SOCIETYicon  14/06/2020 

The goal is to have 100% of officials, party members and employees be informed of the contents of the reformed social insurance policy.

Vietnam supports Laos in education
Vietnam supports Laos in education
VIETNAM & WORLDicon  05/07/2020 

A new secondary school has been recently inaugurated in Bounneua district in Laos’ Phongsaly province as a gift from the Vietnamese Government, the Vientiane Times reported on its July 3 issue.

Government Decree on entry and exit of foreigners into Vietnam
Government Decree on entry and exit of foreigners into Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The Vietnamese Government has recently promulgated Decree No 75/2020 providing details for a number of articles belonging to the Law on amendments and supplements and a number of articles

Over 70% of high school graduates apply for universities
Over 70% of high school graduates apply for universities
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

640,000 students who have just taken high school graduation exams have sent applications to universities nationwide this year according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

270 Korean experts enter Vietnam, work for LG Group
270 Korean experts enter Vietnam, work for LG Group
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam Airlines flight VN9417 carrying 270 experts from Incheon International Airport in the Republic of Korea landed at Cat Bi International Airport in Hai Phong port city on July 2.

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 3
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 3
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam attends UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Pandemics and Security

Carlos Ghosn: Japan ask US to extradite ex-Green Beret and son over Japan escape
Carlos Ghosn: Japan ask US to extradite ex-Green Beret and son over Japan escape
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The ex-soldier and his son are held in the US for allegedly helping the ex-Nissan boss flee Japan.

Outrage as Indian judge calls alleged rape victim 'unbecoming'
Outrage as Indian judge calls alleged rape victim 'unbecoming'
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

An Indian judge is under pressure to delete comments from a court order that questioned the behaviour of a woman who alleged she was raped.

Winners of New Zealand scholarships 2020 announced
Winners of New Zealand scholarships 2020 announced
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Education New Zealand (ENZ) has announced 22 Vietnamese winners of the New Zealand Schools Scholarships (NZSS) 2020, with recipients offered 50 percent off tuition fees for their first year of study in New Zealand.  

Drug prevention forces try to combat new drugs and crimes
Drug prevention forces try to combat new drugs and crimes
SOCIETYicon  04/07/2020 

Colonel Vu Van Hau, deputy head of the Investigation Police Department on Drug-related Crimes talks about the drug crimes.

Vietnam makes progress in public budget accountability
Vietnam makes progress in public budget accountability
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam’s Government and Ministry of Finance has made efforts to realise its commitments on public budget accountability and gained increased confidence from people and development partners regarding budget management,

Coronavirus: Texas governor mandates wearing of face masks
Coronavirus: Texas governor mandates wearing of face masks
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Warning of some intensive care units nearly full, Greg Abbott says the outbreak is "getting worse".

Children need four diphtheria shots
Children need four diphtheria shots
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The General Department of Preventive Medicine has urged parents to be sure their children have a total of four diphtheria vaccine shots taken at the proper times. 

Myanmar: Death toll in jade mine landslide climbs to 113
Myanmar: Death toll in jade mine landslide climbs to 113
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The death toll from a landslide at a jade mine in Hpakant township, Myanmar’s Kachin state has climbed to 113 as more bodies were recovered on July 2, according to a statement by the country’s Information Ministry.

Da Nang to install smart cameras at high schools
Da Nang to install smart cameras at high schools
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The central city of Da Nang has approved a project installing smart cameras at local senior high schools, its Department of Education and Training said on July 2.

Mekong Delta province to help farmers with $1.7 million for drought, saltwater
Mekong Delta province to help farmers with $1.7 million for drought, saltwater
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Tra Vinh has decided to provide relief worth over VND40 billion ($1.7 million) to more than 28,000 farming households to revive agriculture, which was severely affected by drought and saltwater intrusion in the 2019 - 20 dry season.

Pay rises hinging on recovery policy
Pay rises hinging on recovery policy
SOCIETYicon  02/07/2020 

If adopted, an increase in the region-based minimum wage for non-state employees next year will further pressurise local businesses, almost all of which are making efforts to deal with the aftermath of the global health crisis.

Taiwanese drug trafficker sentenced to death in Vietnam
Taiwanese drug trafficker sentenced to death in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  02/07/2020 

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on July 2 handed down a death sentence on a Taiwanese citizen charged with trafficking an extremely large amount of heroin from Vietnam to Taiwan.

Giant crocodile-shaped bread excites local diners
Giant crocodile-shaped bread excites local diners
SOCIETYicon  02/07/2020 

Batches of crocodile-shaped bread weighing a hefty 1.5kg with a length of 60cm are being sold at a store in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, provoking a buzz on social media in recent days.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN