Shinyanga, Tanzania. 25 May 2019. An artisinal miner in Tanzania became a billionaire (TZ Shillings) overnight. Mr Joseph Temba found a 512 carat (102.4 grams) rough diamond in Maganzu in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania. He proceeded to sell the stone on 24 May 2019, for USD$1.4 million via the Ministry of Minerals. The news was broken via Twitter by Dr Kitila Mkumbo who is the Permanent Secretary at Tanzania’s Ministry of Water. BBC reports say Mr Temba encouraged others to do as he did.
Petra Diamonds are active in Tanzania’s diamond industry. As well as this country being the sole source of Tanzanite, which is rumoured to be depleting in the next few years. This latest news is welcome news for the country’s mineral income. It is worth noting, no gems are legally allowed to leave the country without being processed thus adding value (and much needed resources).
According to Rappaport, main exports include gold, copper, platinum and diamonds. The Williamson diamond mine, owned by Petra Diamonds, is the country’s largest source of rough stones.