Miner Who Became Millionaire After Finding Biggest Tanzanite Stones Ever Has Found Another
Remember the Tanzanian small-scale miner who managed to become an overnight millionaire after discovering the two largest tanzanite gemstones ever?
Well, he's only gone and found another whopping great gemstone worth a cool $2m (£1,529,900). He can't stop, can he?
Saniniu Laizer hit headlines worldwide when he found the two stones, weighing 9.2kg and 5.8kg, and was handed a cheque for 7.74bn shillings (£2.7m/ $3.4m).
Now he's struck lucky once again, finding a tanzanite stone weighing 6.3kg and promptly flogging it to the government.
As the name suggests, tanzanite is only found in Tanzania and is one of the rarest stones in the world.
It's used to make ornaments, jewellery and other decorative items with the dark-violet-blue stone valued based on their clarity and colouring.
Speaking after his initial find in June, 52-year-old Laizer told the BBC: "There will be a big party tomorrow."
At a special ceremony to mark the event, Simon Msanjila, mines ministry permanent secretary, said: "Today's event... is to recognise the two largest tanzanite gemstones in history since the beginning of mining activities in Mirerani."
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Laizer's remarkable find was even recognised by President John Magufuli who called him while he was on live TV to offer his congratulations.
Opening up about his plans for the cash, Laizer added: "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."
But he went on to say that the unexpected windfall wouldn't change his lifestyle. And, to be fair to him, given the fact that he still appears to be mining that seems true.
While talking about his most recent find, Laizer urged other small-scale miners to work with the government.
He said: "Selling to the government means there are no shortcuts... they are transparent."
Last year, the Tanzanian government set up trading centres to allow small-scale miners, such as Lazier, to sell what they find.
Small-scale miners are not officially employed by mining companies and usually do their mining by hand.
Featured Image Credit: Tanzania Ministry of Minerals