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Tanzanite sales , revenue soar as smuggling is checked

TANZANITE revenue has soared to a record level after construction of a wall around the rare gemstones mines, the Tanzania Mining Commission has said.

Commission’s Executive Secretary, Prof Shukrani Manya said statistics of small scale miners showed that from August last year after the construction of the wall to earlier this year, tanzanite production reached 781.2 kilogrammes up from 147.7 produced in a similar period in the previous year.

Revenue contribution from the gemstones from August last year to early this year reached 1.43bn/- up from 166 .1m/- from a similar period in the previous year.

He attributed the increased revenue from tanzanite sales to the 24km perimeter wall surrounding the mines that was constructed to curb smuggling of the rare gemstone.

“Now, the fencing off of the M irerani has started paying off, with smuggling of the precious violet-blue stone now reduced,” said Prof M anya.

He said the wall with 24.5km worth over 6bn/- launched by President John M agufuli in April last year. The aim of the wall was to tighten security and control the mineral smugglers who avoid paying tax.

According to him, tanzanite revenues rose to 1.28bn/- in September 2018, from a low of 16 6 m/- registered in January 2015 thanks to new laws and regulations that have seen better reporting of exports and increased payment of royalties to the government.

“Since the 5th phase government came to power, tanzanite business has been controlled, with more check points, military operations as well as construction of a wall around the mining areas,” said Prof Manya.

Tanzanite gemstones found exclusively in the M irerani area in the foothills of M ount K ilimanjaro in Tanzania were discovered in 196 7 by the late M zee Jumanne Ngoma. Mzee Ngoma died at the age 80 in January this year, while undergoing treatment at the Muhimbili National Hospital (M NH).

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Author: JIMMY LWANGILI

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