Diamond International, the world largest tanzanite buyer and one of the largest jewelry retailers in the world, will create a state of the art gemstone processing plant in Tanzania.
The 1,000 square meters plant will be located on the outskirts of the city of Arusha in the north of Tanzania where the world only known deposit tanzanite is located and will employ about 200 local work forces.
It is expect that this new venture will make Arusha the largest gemstone production hub in the world.
Diamonds International’s CEO and Chairman Morris Gad announced that the plant will be completed within one month. Managing Director Jacob Hassid added that local workforce will be trained on how to cut and polish tanzanite for the export markets.
Diamond International buys nearly 70% of Tanzanite to sell through its 140 outlets in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Tanzanite, a bluish gemstone, is said to be 1,000 times rarer than diamond. India traditionally processed about 95% of tanzanite produced in Tanzania, the only source for the gemstone. Besides India, other countries that process tanzanite include Thailand and Hong Kong.
The rare gem is said to have been generating between USD100 million and USD300 million to the economy in export revenue each year, with the US being the largest market even though in recent years it has attracted buyers in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
However raw tanzanite export ban was introduced in 2010 as part of the Mining Act to increasing the contribution of the industry to Tanzania’s economy.