Tanzania is committed to transform the northern safari capital of Arusha into Africa’s gemstone powerhouse, James Mdoe, Tanzania’s deputy permanent secretary from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals said.
He made the announcement during the opening of the ongoing Arusha Gemstones Fair (AGF).
According to China’s official press agency Xinhua, Mdoe said that the Tanzanian government was committed to removing the obstacles that are undermining mineral trade in the country.
In addition, Joel Bendera, Manyara Regional Commissioner said that the government was working with mining and minerals stakeholders from the private sector to create favorable mining and mineral trading environment and to make Tanzania the Africa’s gem center.
He also reminded that Tanzania had established an Economic Processing Zone in the Mirerani area where Tanzanite is mined and near the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
Tanzania produces a variety of gemstones, including amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite and tourmaline.
Tanzanite is found at only one location in the world, the Mererani Hills of Manyara Region in Northern Tanzania.
The production of tanzanite rose by 17% during 2008–2013, from 768t to 900t, while discovered reserves amount to 500m carats.