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Tanzanite sparks fresh hostilities

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Aug 28, 2012
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    Tanzanite sparks fresh hostilities

    By Correspondent

    28th August 2012

    Several small miners injured

    Gunfire erupted some 465 metres below ground level at the Tanzanite mine site here on Saturday, severely injuring some people and is feared to have fatally wounded one.

    The chaos is reported to have been unleashed after security guards with the mining company Tanzanite One led by their head Collin Martin, purportedly invaded the Manga Gems (T) Ltd mine and assaulted the unsuspecting miners in what may have been retaliation to apparently an earlier invasion of their mine.

    "We were working in our area … we were caught unawares and by total surprise… they attacked us…" Mbaruku, General Manager with Manga Gems (T) Ltd accused his company's rival and also identified the injured miners as Fidelis Kefas, Peterson Richard, Remmy Manga, Kiberenge Laizer and Mahadhi Salum.

    Assistant Manager with Manga Gems (T) Ltd. Athuman Miraji claimed the is playing out to be an all out takeover attempt, saying the incident was not the first and that it is, as he put it, intentional, repeated and systematic intimidation to scare them off or slow them down.

    The methods used though, are escalating from threatening to, as in the latest incident, deadly, he said. The manager accused their competitors of hurling stones and rocks and then even of a failed attempt to drown their mine by channeling water into it, an act that has previously been condemned by Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Steven Masele.

    Kelvin Lyimo and Remmy Manga, miners, called on the government revoke the Tanzanite One mining license for what they called failure to make any effort whatsoever to strengthen relations with small scale miners resulting in repeated altercations that have claimed many a miners' life in the Tanzanite spawn area of Mererani. The area is said to house the world's largest deposit of Tanzanite, a gem rarer than diamond.

    Tanzania One General Manager, Wessel Marais, could not be reached yesterday for comments and is reported to out of the country.
    Manyara Regional Police Commander, Akili Mpwapwa confirmed reports of the incident and ongoing dispute between the two companies saying police were still investigating the matter. "So far, nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident…we're still investigating…" he said.

    Spokesperson for Tanzanite One, Dotto Mendrad, refuted the allegation and claimed they were the ones who were invaded. "We discovered that we were invaded… since last Friday we reported the matter to the Northern Zone Mining office and the Mererani Police..." he alleged.

    Tanzanite is rare, in fact this beautiful blue violet gem is beyond rare reports tanzanitefoundation.org Tanzanite is found in only one place on earth, deep in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Its single source and limited supply makes it at least one thousand times rarer than a diamond.
    With just an estimated 30 years of supply remaining in the mine, as time passes Tanzanite becomes ever more precious.