Govt wants Tanzanite mine owners to respect laws

TANZANIA: OWNERS of Tanzanite mines in Mererani, Simanjiro District in Manyara Region have been told to respect operational conditions stipulated in their licences.

Simanjiro District Mining Officer, Nchagwa Marwa, said over the weekend in Arusha that Tanzanite mine owners must operate their mines as per the laws, insisting that the government is keen to support their operations.

He said always the government stresses on the need for investors in mining sector to respect laws, rules and regulations and not otherwise.

“Under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s leadership, the government is supporting and protecting small scale miners in the country including Tanzanite gemstones investors, but the only thing we need is for them to operate according to government’s directives,” he said.

He said the mining law that governs the small-scale mining activities is selfexplanatory, adding that if there is a problem of interpretation of the law, his office is open to everybody for help.

However, Mr Marwa mentioned that the conflict involving ownership of Block ‘C’ between Franone Company in collaboration with the government and small-scale miners was resolved after the conflicting parties met him in his office in December last year.

“We realised that some small-scale miners had invaded the area by creating shafts that penetrated Block C illegally, so they had agreed to stop,” he said.

He also added that the government decided to block shafts that crossed Block ‘C’ from other mines owned by different companies such as Manga Gems, Tanzania Explore Gem and other mines owned by Mr Edward Mollel also known as billionaire Saniniu Laizer.

Tanzanite gemstones are only found in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region in Tanzania, in a small mining area approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) long and 2 km (1.2 mi) wide near the Mererani Hills.

Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately blue, violet and burgundy depending on crystal orientation. Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed under different lighting conditions.

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