Saniniu Laizer is a miner from Tanzania who has done what everyone in his profession wants: to strike gold (metaphorically) and get rich quickly. CNBC reports that after extracting two of the largest Tanzanian gemstones ever found in the region, Laizer sold the gemstones for 7.7 billion Tanzanian shillings – roughly US $ 3.4 million.
Weighing 9.2 kg and 5.8 kg, the stones were mined by Laizer about a week before being sold at a commercial event in Manyara. As for what he intends to do as a new millionaire (and, in his own country’s currency, a billionaire), Laizer explained to the BBC some of his major projects, which include a shopping mall and a school in his hometown of Simanjiro in Manyara. He continued:
“I want to build this school near my home … There are many poor people here who cannot afford to take their children to school … I am not educated but I like things to work professionally . So I would like my children to run the business in a professional manner. “
It is obvious that Laizer will leave the mining business now that he has become wealthy, but he intends to continue looking after another of his businesses: a herd of around 2,000 cows. One of these cows, he says, will be the main dish of a “big party” that he plans to organize to celebrate his new wealth.
Among those who would have praised Laizer for its success, Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who phoned him and said that Laizer’s story shows the value of small-scale mining and “proves that Tanzania is rich”.
As you can probably understand from the name, tanzanite is a rare mineral that can only be found within the borders of Tanzania, and in fact the mining area where it is known covers only a few kilometers .