Tanzanian Saniniu Kuryan Laizer who recently became an overnight millionaire has yet again found another 6-kilogramme Tanzanite stone – gemstone worth over Sh140 million.
The latest piece becomes the second-largest Tanzanite stone to be found in the Northern Mirelani hills.
Just a month ago, the local small-scale miner found two of the biggest of the country’s precious tanzanite stones ever found and sold them to the government.
Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, found the stones weighing 9.27 and 5.1 kilogrammes (20.4 and 11.2 pounds) respectively in the northern Mirerani hills, an area which President John Magufuli had fenced off in 2018 to stop smuggling of the gem.
He sold them to the government for 7.7 billion Tanzanian shillings (nearly $3.3 million/2.9 million euros).
Tanzanite was first found in the foothills of Kilimanjaro in 1967, and the northern Tanzanian region of Manyara is the only known place where the stones, coveted by jewellers by their remarkable violet-blue sparkle, are found.
The 52-year-old, husband of four wives and father of 30, said: “I plan to build a mall in Arusha and a school near my home.I thank God for this achievement because it’s the first time to get this size.”
Tanzanite was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967, in a very small mining area near the Mererani Hills, the only place in the world it has ever been found.
Geologists estimated that all the natural reserves of Tanzanite will be depleted by 2050.
Tanzanite’s appearance is influenced greatly by its pleochroism, which is the ability of a gemstone to show different colours when viewed in different crystal directions.
Tanzanian small-scale miner Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, poses with the enlarged cheque copy from the government after selling two of the biggest of the country’s precious gemstones, Tanzanite, during the ceremony for his historical discovery in Manyara, northern Tanzania, on June 24, 2020.
A 24km (14-mile)-perimeter wall was unveiled around the mining site, and Magufuli said that 40 percent of all tanzanite produced at the site was being lost to smugglers.
Magufuli has taken multiple steps to regulate the mining sector, which has faced allegations of fraud and underreporting of production and profits.
Tanzania in 2017 introduced new regulations obliging foreign companies to give 16 percent free shares to the government