TanzaniteOne quash speculation that supply is nearing its end.
Tanzanite mining company TanzaniteOne has said that despite the widely believed view that tanzanite will deplete in less than a decade, the rare blue gemstone could be mined for the next hundred years.
The company’s CEO Wessel Marais said: “With responsible mining and careful digging tanzanite deposits can last over a hundred years.”
TanzaniteOne has been conducting numerous surveys on the gemstone, which is found beneath the Mererani hills, at the border of Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions of Tanzania.
The surveys have apparently ruled out the possibility of Tanzanite deposits elsewhere in northern Tanzania, but said there were possibilities of finding other important minerals.
Tanzanite is said to be ten-times rarer than diamonds, but Marais claims that careful planning and coordinated digging may reveal lifetime’s mining of the gemstone. “There is no need for rush because the gemstone is only found in Tanzania. We can be extracting it on instalment basis to extend the rare minerals’ shelf life, and it is very possible to have tanzanite for the next ten decades,” he said.
The company’s corporate governance manager and secretary, Lusekelo Mwakalukwa said that responsible mining can only be accomplished if both artisanal miners and large scale quarry operators at Mererani work together.
“For years there have been animosity between small and large scale miners with the latter regarding the former as enemies. As miners of the world’s rarest gemstones we are faced with many challenges and have many major problems to address other than fighting between ourselves. Once united we can turn around the tanzanite industry into an international prestige similar to what De-Beers and Tiffany have so far accomplished”, Mwakalukwa said.