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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Tanzanite export ban dulls Jaipur's processors,

Tanzania's ban on export of tanzanite weighing over one gram has put scores of small and medium stone processing enterprises in the lurch, especially in Jaipur.
Tanzanite, a bluish gemstone, is said to be 1,000 times rarer than diamond.

Just as Surat is known for processing rough diamonds, Jaipur has gained proficiency in processing coloured gemstones including rough tanzanite over the past five decades. Of the 10 lakh people employed by the gemstone processing industry, about two lakh are in Jaipur and about 45,000 are specialised in finishing tanzanite.

Mr Rajiv Jain, Chairman, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said India exports cut-and-polished tanzanite worth Rs 300-350 crore an annum. The domestic market alone accounts for about Rs 100 crore.

“While cut-and-polished tanzanite is exported when it is ready, the industry has an inventory of about $2-3 million roughs, which would suffice for not more than 15 days,” he added.

A carat of cut-and-polished tanzanite, depending on quality and finish, costs between $10 (Rs 450) and $40 (Rs 1,800).
Reason for ban
India processes about 95 per cent of tanzanite produced in Tanzania, the only source for the gemstone. The ban, effective from January, was part of the Mining Act and is aimed at increasing the contribution of the industry to Tanzania's economy.
Mr Jain said the council plans to ask the Commerce and External Affairs Ministries to mediate on their behalf.

Tanzanite is mined at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak. Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, which appears alternately in sapphire blue, violet and burgundy depending on crystal orientation.
Phased manner
Though the industry understood the concern of the Tanzanian Government to improve job opportunities in their country, it should have curtailed exports in a phased manner to gain expertise in processing the roughs, Mr Jain felt.

Tanzanite mining provides direct employment for about 14,000 workers in Tanzania, Africa's third-largest gold producing State after South Africa and Ghana. About 42 per cent of Tanzanian exports come from minerals, mainly gold, diamonds and tanzanite.

Tanzanite in its rough state is usually reddish brown. It requires heat treatment to 600 degree Celsius in a gemological oven to bring out the blue violet character of the stone. Besides India, other countries that process tanzanite include Thailand and Hong Kong.


emu-three said...


Upepo Mwanana said...

Sisi tunaendelea kuwaneemesha watu wengine, yaani wao wana wafanyakazi wengi kuliko hata sisi wazalishaji!!!

Goodman Manyanya Phiri said...

Umetuelimisha sana hapo kuhusu Tanzanite na ngazi ya nchi Tanzania kwenye mambo ya dhahabu Barani Afrika. Asante sana! THANK YOU FOR AN EYE-OPENER THERE!