Tanzanian Govt orders closure of mining activities at Tanzanite One mining site

The world’s biggest Tanzanite mining site at Mirerani in Tanzania has been temporarily shut down by the government alleging breach of rules and non-payment of wages to the workers
Tanzanian Govt orders closure of mining activities at Tanzanite One mining site

The Tanzanian government has directed to stop mining activities at Tanzanite One Mining Limited (TML), the world’s biggest miner and supplier of Tanzanite. The government decision has come following the breach of some statutory guidelines.

Deputy Minister for Minerals Stanislaus Nyongo said that the mining contracts have benefitted only a few instead of all Tanzanians or the nation at large. Besides the closure of the mine, the minister sympathized with the over 700 workers who have not been paid their salaries for the past 22 months and ordered the company to pay the pending salaries within three months.Tanzanite is only mined at Mirerani in Tanzania and is not available in other parts of the world. But due to illegal mining and trade, tanzanite is being traded by some other countries as well. Now, the Tanzanian government wants to construct a wall around Mirerani, and enforce a strict security on the mining of the gemstone.

Minister Nyongo held meetings with different department heads of the Mining Office as well as the workers. He said the law under which the mining contract was given benefitted only the promoters of the company and not the people at large.
Issuing a three-month ultimatum to the company to pay up the dues to the workers, the minister said that he was sad that the workers were not paid their wages for such a long time.

Earlier, TML Directors Hussein Gonga and Faizal Shaibhal admitted that their company had been facing financial difficulties and it was not able to pay the workers’ for some time. Shaibhal said that the company was holding talks with the government and planning to bring in a new shareholder. He also said that he expected to pay the workers within the next two-months and requested them to safeguard the company resources at the mining sites. Various reports have revealed that the mine had been shut for a while but it was not made public.

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