A Tanzanian miner and father of 30 has become a millionaire overnight after he dug up two huge gemstones that were worth a whopping £2.4 million.
Yesterday, in the northern region of Manyara, a trading event took place in which the government handed Saniniu Laizer a cheque for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings (£2.4 million) after he had dug up two dark violet-blue stones that were each about the size of a forearm.
Laizer discovered the chunks in the north of the country in one of the Tanzanite mines. It was surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of the incredibly valuable mineral.
The lucky man, who has four wives and 30 children, told the BBC: “There will be a big party tomorrow.”
He then added that in order to celebrate his good fortune, he will be slaughtering a cow.
In order to make the most of his newfound fortune, the 52-year-old will be investing the money in building a school and a shopping mall in his community. He explained that for many of his locals, they couldn’t afford to pay for their children’s education.
Regardless of now being a millionaire, he has insisted that he won’t let his lifestyle change. He will continue to herd his 2,000 cows and go about life as normal.
A mines ministry spokesperson has confirmed that the first gemstone weighed 20Ib whilst the second came in at 11Ib.
A billionaier is born, all the way from small & humble beginnings towards substantive hard work & passion; Mr Saniniu Laizer has finally made his fortune as a 🇹🇿 billionaier through small scale mining 9KG of a rare Gemstone in the whole world called Tanzanite pic.twitter.com/Nd1pK83NDL
— KIBADA BUSINESS SERVICES LTD (@KibadaLtd) June 24, 2020
Before Laizer discovered the gemstones, the largest Tanzanite stone that had been recovered was seven pounds.
Found only in the small northern region of the East African nation, the Tanzanite is an ultra-rare gemstone.
To celebrate the fantastic news, Laizer has been pictured on Tanzanian television, as he was presented with a large check after the Bank of Tanzania bought the gemstones in a ceremony yesterday. Whilst live on the TV, President John Magufuli gave his congratulations.
The president told minerals minister Doto Biteko that the confirmation of the large gemstones proved that the country is rich.
It was only set up last year in Tanzania that trading centres around the country could allow artisanal miners to sell their gems and gold to the government.
Usually, artisanal miners mine by hand and are not officially employed by any mining companies.
In April 2018, Magufuli ordered that a wall be built around Tanzanite mining concessions in the north of the country. This would be an attempt at controlling illegal mining and trading activities.
Before this, the President said that around 40 per cent of Tanzanite being produced was being lost.