Posted on :Wednesday , 15th February 2017
Tanzanite Gemstones valued at more than 9.3bn/- changed hands during the second Mineral Auction in Arusha Region over the weekend.
The Director of Diamond and Gemstones Valuation Unit of Tanzania Mineral Sorting Company (TANSORT), Mr Richard Karugendo, said this year's auction beat last year event by over 2bn/- worth of sales because during the 2016 auction minerals worth 7bn/- were sold.
A total of 68 mineral firms participated in the 2017 auction, 39 being Tanzanian companies while the rest came from other nations including Kenya, India, Sri-Lanka, China, Switzerland and Germany.
The Manyara Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Joel Bendera, said the success of the second mineral auction reinforced the importance of ongoing initiatives to build mineral export processing zone at Mirerani Hills in Simanjiro District where the rare blue gemstones are mined.
"Simanjiro produces the most valuable minerals but as it happens, the District suffers the most problems, including lack of tarmac road, diseases like HIV-Aids infections, performs badly in education with many of its residents reeling in poverty," said the RC.
He added, "We have already secured a vast plot onto which the Tanzanite EPZ will be established and that all polishing, processing and branding will be done before the gemstones gets exported." Mr Bendera was on view that the EPZ at the foot of Mirerani Hills will solve the problem of mineral smuggling which has been the major concern as far as Tanzanite Gemstones are concerned.
"There will be no longer complaints of our precious gems to be labelled as coming from India or Kenya," he said. The TANSORT official, Mr Archad Karugedo, said the government earned dividends worth 466.4m/- which is a climb from the 380m/- revenues earned last year.