Father of 30 miner who became a nightly millionaire who digs up huge ultra-rare gems says he made his THIRD multi-million pound find in weeks
- Small-scale miner vowed to use the earnings to build a school and shopping center
- Father of 30 handed over gemstone to government officials in exchange for control
- Saniniu Laizer found two other chunks of stone in northern Tanzania last month
- Tanzanite is extremely rare and is only found in a small region of the East African nation
A father of 30 miners who became a millionaire overnight after excavating ultra-rare gems said he found a third clump of multi-million pound Tanzanite.
The third stone reportedly weighs six kilograms and is estimated to be £ 1.5 million ($ 2 million).
Saniniu Laizer found Tanzanite, of a deep violet-blue color, near his home in northern Tanzania.
The 52-year-old, who has four women and thirty children, has previously vowed to use some of his earnings to build a school and shopping center.
The first two stones have an estimated value of $ 3.4 million.
Saniniu Laizer introduced himself last month while holding up two of the precious gems. He has now found a third Tanzanian stone that weighs 6.5 kg
The gem is only found in the East African country and is considered one of the rarest gems on Earth.
Laizer waved the big stone over his head before handing it over to Tanzanian government officials, who gave him a check to buy him.
“I beg my fellow miners to be patriotic by sticking to rules and regulations and committing to working hard so that we prosper,” said Laizer in Swahili, referring to regulations that tanzanite stones should be sold directly to the government , rather than to illegal traders.
“We Tanzanians have decided that minerals should first benefit us as a country,” said Minister of Mines Dotto Biteko.
“We are tired of selling our gems to others who benefit while our communities remain poor.
For example, business has increased in many mining areas. Even areas where business was out of business have improved. ‘
Last week, Mr. Laizer sold his second jewel at a trading event attended by hundreds.
The small-scale miner last month found two other chunks of the gem in one of the tanzanite mines in the north of the country, which are surrounded by a wall to counter the cross-border smuggling of the valuable mineral.
Two of the Tanzanite gems previously sold by Laizer – the largest ever found according to the Department of Mines – are depicted at a ceremony attended by senior government officials
Last month, Laizer was featured on Tanzanian television and received a large check after the Bank of Tanzania bought the gems at a ceremony
Other miners were surprised by Mr. Laizer’s fortune, but “recognized perseverance may have something to do with it,” said Aboubakar Famau of the BBC.
What is Tanzanite?
The extremely rare Tanzanite gem is only found in northern Tanzania.
It is probably the rarest mineral in the world, found in an area only 4 km wide and 2 km long at the foot of Kilimanjaro.
The stones are priced depending on the rarity of their color and clarity.
Tanzanite slabs are often exported to India to be polished and turned into decorative objects.
Local geologists predict landings may be depleted within 20 years, the BBC reported.
The gem is named after the country of origin by Tiffany & Co.
Mr. Laizer insisted that his lifestyle should not change and that he would continue to take care of his herd of 2,000 cows.
The first gem weighed 20 pounds, while the second weighed 11 pounds, a mines ministry spokesperson said.
Before Mr. Laizer dug out the debris last week, the largest recorded Tanzanian stone was seven pounds.
Last month, Mr. Laizer was shown on Tanzanian television with a large check after the Bank of Tanzania bought the gems at a ceremony. President John Magufuli called to congratulate Laizer live on television.
“This is confirmation that Tanzania is rich,” Magufuli said earlier to mineral minister Doto Biteko.
Tanzania established trade centers across the country last year to allow artisan miners to sell their gems and gold to the government.
Artisanal miners are not officially employed by mining companies and usually mines by hand.
Magufuli inaugurated the wall around tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania in April 2018 in an effort to control illegal mining and trading activities.
At the time, he said 40 percent of the tanzanite produced there was lost.