Tanzanian miner, Saniniu Laizer, once again strikes luck with the second discovery of Tanzanite.
The artisanal miner who became an overnight millionaire earlier this year after finding two pieces of the rare gemstone has discovered a third piece of Tanzanite.
Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth and is only found in the Northern parts of Tanzania. This precious stone can be used to make ornaments.
Tanzanite has a variety of hues including blue, green, red, and purple. Its value is determined by rarity, with finer color or clarity hence driving the price up.
The artisanal miner and father of more than 30 children sold the dark violet-blue gemstones, each about the size of a forearm, to Tanzania’s Government for a whopping £2.6m.
Saniniu Laizer’s third and latest discovery of Tanzanite since June weighed an impressive 6.3 kilograms.
On being interviewed, he stated that the money raised from its sale will be used to build a school and a health facility in his community in Simanjiro district, in Tanzania’s northern Manyara region.
Mr. Laizer’s latest find comes just months after the 52-year-old unearthed two of the biggest rough tanzanite gemstones ever found in the area. The gems each weighing 9.2kg and 5.8kg respectively were unearthed in one of northern Tanzania’s Tanzanite mines.
Mr. Laizer attracted both domestic and international attention for his efforts and made appearances on television while being presented with a large cheque after the Bank of Tanzania bought the gemstones.
President John Pombe Magufuli also phoned to congratulate Mr. Laizer live on television. It is important to note that last year, Tanzania set up trading centers around the country to allow artisanal miners to sell their gems and gold to the government.
Artisanal miners are not officially employed by any mining companies and usually mine by hand. Mr. Magufuli inaugurated a wall around tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania in April 2018 after ordering its construction a year earlier in a bid to control illegal mining and trading activities at such sites.