Tanzania bans export of raw tanzanite

Tanzania last week banned the export of raw tanzanite in order to boost local processing.

The East African quoted minister of energy and minerals, William Ngeleja, saying that dealers found violating the sanction will have their consignment confiscated and licences nullified.

According to the newspaper, the ban will be a major setback for India’s city of Jaipur where nearly 250,000 people are employed in the cutting and polishing of the raw gem for re-export. One-third of the tanzanite exported to Jaipur comes from Tanzania.

Sammy Mollel, chairman of the Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association, told The Citizen that local processing would create employment opportunities.

He added that many local processing facilities have either closed down or are currently operating below capacity as a result of the export of raw tanzanite.