TANZANITE-ONE has promised to pay all accumulated arrears to its workers who have been going without salaries for years now after the giant mining entity of Mirerani suspended its operations.
One of the company directors, Mr Faisal Shahbhat told the media here that the company has started settling the debt by paying the employees their salaries for December.
He said the management of the company was working to ensure that all unpaid salaries are settled before the Tanzanite Gemstones’ mining giant open shop.
At least 40 million/- was paid out to 70 workers, according to the Company Secretary, Advocate Kisaka Mnzava, who explained that the beneficiaries were those who are still at the premises.
“Security personnel, cleaners and kitchen helpers are the ones who got paid because they happen to be still in the mining area attending to small chores, the company used to have 700 employees, which means only 10 per cent of those have remained at the mining premises,” he added.
Aboubakar Lombe, the Head of Security at Tanzanite One quarries complained about the payment saying; “The money paid is nothing compared to what we demand; many employees are facing serious debts and family problems due to delayed salaries.”
On his part, Elisamehe Msuya, another worker at Tanzanite-One, said there was some hope in getting their pay, now that the company had started to settle the debt.
Speaking at different times in Arusha, other employees of Tanzanite-One Limited, which is a joint venture firm with the State Mining Company (STAMICO), said they have been living in financial crisis following frozen salaries.
The entity has faced a series of problems regarding mining operations in the Mirerani Hills of Simanjiro.
Five years ago in 2014, Mr Hussein Gonga an Arusha-based Businessman, together with his partner Mr Faisal Shahbhat acquired 50 per cent stake previously owned by Richland Resources Limited of UK which used to run the giant mining firm in a jointventure with the State Mining Company (STAMICO).
Richland Resources (UK) Limited through its CEO Benard Olivier had announced its move to sell off its shares in the TanzaniteOne Mining Limited to the Sky Associated Group Limited a firm owned by Mr Gonga, Mr Shahbhat and a third partner identified as Mr Ridhiwan Ullah.
Hussein Gonga previously owned three other mining firms; Capricorn Minerals, Prima Gemstones (T) Limited, Hugo Gems as well as Hugo Investments, while his partner, Mr Faisal Shahbhat was behind the Maruti Green Gems and Tanzanite Forever (Limited).
The two Tanzanians struck deal with Ridhiwan Ulla an Asian who is the name behind the International Gemstone Dealers Africa and Success Gems Limited of Hong-Kong.
Sky Associate Group (SAG) Limited inherited all assets, stock and liabilities estimated at 32 billion/- from Richland Resources and the new company has settled TML debts.
Following a comprehensive review of the strategic options available Richland Resources (UK), the gemstone producer and developer, through Broker RFC Ambrian, jettisoned its tanzanite mining and exploration in Mirerani (Manyara) and cutting beneficiation operations in Arusha City as well as its licence interests in Tanzania to focus on its Australian assets.
The TML, formerly known as African Gemstone (AFGEM) and Mirerani Mining Limited (MML) before that, is a consortium entrusted by State Mining Company (STAMICO) which is a government institution and Tanzanite One Limited (a company owned by Richland Resources) to run the mining areas in Mirerani Hills of Simanjiro District.