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Tanzania's Ministry temporarily lifts ban on tanzanite export
Allows TanzaniteOne export exemption through December 31, 2010
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 30 2010 10:29PM
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Reference: 5357  

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After instating a ban last April on the export of rough tanzanite to stimulate development of a local rough processing industry, Tanzania's Ministry of Minerals and Energy has now temporarily lifted the embargo on any tanzanite weighing over one gram (five carats) until mid-next year. The move is said to enable the government more time to create sustainable domestic cutting operations, according to news reports.

The Ministry's Commissioner for Minerals, Dr Peter Kafumu, said that the government move was propelled by the fact that the nascent processing industry is still at infant stage and exporters need additional time.

The commissioner added that each exporter has been given an exemption from the export ban depending on the company's stone-cutting ability. For instance, there are some exporters that have been granted up to June next year to set up shop before the total ban is implemented. Meanwhile, the government has granted TanzaniteOne, the largest tanzanite miner in the world, an export exemption on rough tanzanite weighing five carats (one gram) and above through December 31 of this year.

According to the Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA), however, the temporary lifting of the export ban is negatively impacting the organization's efforts to create a local downstream industry. Moreover, Sammy Mollel, TAMIDA Chairman, does not agree with the government's assertions that the country does not have enough tanzanite-processing facilities. "Our ability to woo customers and bring together dealers will be built fairly quickly once enough rough tanzanite is available in the market," he said.

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