Tanzanian miner finds rare gemstones. Image credit: BBC

A small scale miner in Tanzania earned a massive fortune overnight after being able to find two rarest Tanzanite gemstones.

As per reports, Saniniu Laizer earned £2.4m ($3.4m) from the country’s mining ministry for the two highly precious gemstones whose combined weight is around 15 kg.

The miner found the two dark violet-blue gemstones one of the tanzanite mines in the north of the country last week.

He later sold them at a trading event that was held in northern Manyara on June 24.

One of the gemstones weighs 9.2 kg whereas the weight of the second one is  5.8 kg.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli called Laizer to congratulate him on the discovery.

Magufuli added that the finding would encourage small-scale miners and establish Tanzania as a rich country.

The miner was pictured on Tanzanian television being presented with a large cheque after the Bank of Tanzania bought the gemstones.

He said that he had no plans of changing his lifestyle and instead use the money for developing his community and also for looking after his four wives, 30 children and 2,000 cows.

Tanzania last year set up trading centres around the country to allow artisanal miners to sell their gems and gold to the government.

Although some scale miners acquire government licenses to mine for gemstones, illegal mining and trading activities are highly controlled in the country.

In 2017, President Magufuli ordered the military to build a 24km (14-mile) perimeter wall around the Merelani mining site in Manyara, believed to be the world’s only source of Tanzanite.

Tanzanite is a gemstone found only in a small northern region of the East African nation.


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