Mererani to acquire Special Economic Processing Zone for gemstones
After many years of struggle by local miners, it has now been established and affirmed that the Export Processing Zone-EPZ will be established in Mirerani Township in a move aimed at promoting local development within the area and provide authenticity of the gemstones.
Mirerani Township which is located 80 kilometres south-east of Arusha has rich deposits for the mineral Tanzanite which used as a gemstone.
Speaking on the assessment of the 5th Arusha Gem Fair (AGF) 2016 held recently at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, Acting Commissioner of Minerals in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Ally Samaje, said with the establishment of the said EPZ area, the mineral business will now be done in a more organized , transparent and conducive environment.
“The establishment of an export processing zone will put the economy in the hands of the locals and bring in place value addition.
Through the said exhibition, he said the government has received a total of sh1.7 billion royalty generated from the minerals worth Sh9.9 billion sold during the exhibition.
He said out of 1.7 billion generated from sale of seized minerals, while 1.3 billion was obtained from the auction of the seized minerals and 388 million obtained from the royalties paid to the government on sold minerals and 26 million obtained from permits of exported minerals.
He said the exhibition attracted 813 miners, jewelers and mineral dealers from 26 countries across the world.
“The fair involved renowned stakeholders in the field of gemstone, the organizers said, adding that the AGF meant to scaleup mineral business in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.
In order to ensure there is a well established system of controlling gemstone activities especially tanzanite, he said the government is set to establish internal auctions different from the auction done during the exhibition.
“The auction will provide an opportunity to local traders to purchase minerals for various activities including value addition on minerals and making various necklaces (pedants),” he added.
According to Samaje, he noted increase and improvement in the last year’s gemstone fair whereby Tanzanian government collected 137,659 dollars worth of royalties following the auction of over 3 million dollars worth of gemstones.
The 2016 AGF had 300 exhibitors and other 160 foreigners across the world. The buyers of the minerals were 353.
The exhibitors of the Arusha International Gem, Jewelry and Minerals Fair exhibited the latest products and services including rough and cut stones, lapidary equipment, educational material and a wide variety of colored gemstones and diamonds.
The show featured a wide variety of colored gemstones and diamonds. Fair activities included showing of rough and cut stones, lapidary equipment, educational material, lapidary demonstrations, seminars and panels, keynote speakers and mine tours.