A small-scale miner in Tanzania has become an overnight millionaire after uncovering two of the country’s precious tanzanite stones.
Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, found the stones having a combined weight of 15kg (33 lb). Laizer sold the stones to the country’s mining ministry and earned £2.4m (Rs 561,000,000)
“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer, a father of more than 30 children, told the BBC.
Tanzanite is a very rare stone that is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments.
The precious stone’s appeal lies in its variety of types and colours, including green, red, purple and blue. Its value is determined by rarity – the finer the colour or clarity, the higher the price.
President of Tanzania John Magufuli called Laizer to congratulate him. “This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich,” the president said.