A Tanzanian small-scale miner earned a total of TSh 7.8 billion (KSh 357 million) after selling two Tanzanite stones.
According to Tanzania’s Ministry of Mining, the two stones which weighed 9.2kg and 5.8kg are said to be the biggest stones ever found in the country.
According to reports, the miner, Saniniu Laizer mined the stones last week but sold them on Wednesday during a trading event in Manyara.
Immediately after receiving a large cheque from the Bank of Tanzania, Laizer, 52, took to Twitter to thank everyone as he insisted on hard work and determination.
“Focus, determination, hard working and consistency is my big secret, I thank everyone,” he tweeted.
He further said that he will build a school and a shopping mall in his Simanjiro home district in Manyara.
“I want to build a shopping mall and a school… near my home. There are many poor people around here who can’t afford to take their children to school,” he said. “I am not educated but I like things to run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally.”
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli congratulated Laizer on the discovery saying that the find was a confirmation that the country is rich.
Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on earth and, according to the University of Pennsylvania, one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.
Laizer is married to four wives and father of more than 30 children.
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