Author: Marc Nkwame
TANZANITE can only be found in Mirerani Hills, right? Well, wrong there is a new site that has just been discovered to have ample reserves of the rare blue gemstones but at the moment this is a secret tightly kept in the State House’s vaults.
President John Magufuli, who visited the Tanzanite Mining quarries in the Mirerani Hills of Simanjiro District, Manyara Region over the weekend, revealed that there is another location where the blue gemstones have been discovered but did not divulge further.
“We have built a wall surrounding the mining quarries of Mirerani in order to curb the notorious theft and smuggling of Tanzanite,” said the Head of State, while inaugurating the 25 kilometres’ long fort, described as the ‘Great Wall of Mirerani.’
He said that state organs were still on track to investigate the mineral smuggling rackets. “We have also just discovered a new location where there are ample Tanzanite reserves underground. Soon, this location will also be surrounded by a wall before mining operations start,” said the president.
He insisted that all places found to contain valuable resources will be hemmed in by a wall. “If the need arises to build a wall around Mount Kilimanjaro then by all means we shall do that,” maintained Dr Magufuli insisting that no stone shall be left unturned when it comes to protecting the country’s resources.
The Head of State also used the occasion to allay fears that Tanzanite Gemstones were about to disappear from Mirerani, saying there were more than 1,760 million tonnes of Tanzanite yet to be lifted from underground and that the rare gemstones will still be mined at the hills for the next 25 years.
Dr Magufuli revealed that at the current rate of extracting 54 tonnes per year, depleting the nearly two billion tonnes of the rare blue gemstones from Block C’ quarry alone will take up to the year 2042.
“A research conducted in 2015, discovered that, Block C’ quarries alone have a reserve of 1,750 million tonnes of Tanzanite underground,” he said.
Block C’ is the mining plot from which Tanzanite-One Limited operates.
The company is a joint venture between the government-owned, State Mining Company (STAMICO) and Sky Associated Group owned by Tanzanians.