TANZANITE

Thirty nine small-scale Tanzanite miners at Mererani, near Arusha, suffocated after an air compressor which was providing oxygen to one of the mines broke down. When the Government stopped mining operations at Mererani in July (a few days later) and gave small-scale miners 30 days to fulfil new conditions to improve safety, some 4,000 miners went on a rampage looting goods worth millions of dollars. They asked why one mine accident should lead to the closure of 300 other mines. Police arrested 15 miners before order was restored. Meanwhile, Tiffany’s in New York and other American jewellers have now resumed purchase of Tanzanite after earlier allegations that the trade was helping to launder money being used by terrorists.

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