Tanzanian miner finds third rare tanzanite gem worth millions after record haul
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A small-scale miner from Tanzania made another record discovery of one of the world's rarest gemstone this month, hauling in a precious, 14-pound stone valued at $2 million, according to a report.
Saniniu Laizer, 52, became an overnight millionaire in June after he sold two violet-blue tanzanite gemstones said to be the largest ever found in the country. Weighing a total of 33 pounds, he sold them for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings ($3.4 million U.S. dollars).
Laizer announced he would slaughter one of his 2,000 cows, have a big party, and invest in the local community after finding the two record stones earlier this summer, according to the BBC.
TANZANIAN MINER FINDS RECORD TANZANITE GEMS, BECOMES OVERNIGHT MILLIONAIRE
“There will be a big party tomorrow,” said Laizer, from the Manyara region. “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 continued.
The BBC reported that he has four wives and more than 30 children.
Saniniu Laizer poses with two rough Tanzanite stones back in June, said to be the largest ever found in the country.
(TANZANIA MINISTRY OF MINERALS)
While a party isn't on his schedule this time around, Laizer said on Monday he would continue with his dream in using the money to build a school, as well as a health facility in his community – located in the northern Manyara region.
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Tanzanite is said to be a gemstone found only in the northern region of the country. It's reportedly used to make ornaments — with its rarity defined by how clear or well defined the color is.
Tanzania President John Magufuli had ordered the military to build a wall surrounding a Manyara mining site in 2017 — believed to be the world's only source of tanzanite — with its supply estimated to be depleted within 20 years, a geologist told the news organization.
Last year, Tanzania set up trading centers to allow artisanal miners, like Laizer, to sell their gems and gold to the government. Many reportedly mine by hand without any affiliation to mining companies. Following his recent discovery, Laizer encouraged other small scale miners to work for the government.
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"Selling to the government means there are no shortcuts," he said during a ceremony celebrating his find in the northern Mirerani mine, according to the BBC. "They are transparent."
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