A miner in Tanzania has found the world’s largest tanzanite gems.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries on earth with about half of their 55 million citizens living on less than $2 a day. This is a big improvement from 2007 when 65% of the population lived on less than $1.25 per day!
Saniniu Laizer has become a millionaire after unearthing the two midnight-blue gemstones in the eastern African country - the only part of the world where tanzanite can be found.
The 52-year-old miner found the rare stones that weigh 20.43-pounds and 11.25 pounds and are each about as long as Laizer’s arm. On Thursday, the Bank of Tanzania wrote the miner a check for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings ($3.34 million US Dollars).
“Today’s event … is to recognize the two largest tanzanite gemstones in history since the beginning of mining activities in Merelani,” Mines Ministry Permanent Secretary Simon Msanjila said at an event in Tanzania. The President of the country John Magufuli called in to the event to congratulate Saniniu and say that he is an inspiration to the entire nation!
Saniniu tells the BBC "I want to build a shopping mall and a school. I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can't afford to take their children to school. I am not educated but I like things run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally."