DAR ES SALAAM.
Tanzania is focusing on value addition of tanzanite in an effort to curb the economic impact of a steep drop in prices of the precious mineral.
Data obtained from tanzanite miners at Mererani yesterday show that market prices for the gemstone have gone down by up to 60 percent during the past two years when the world was grappling with the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Miners and traders at Mererani say the price has gone down from Sh1 million per gram before the Covid-19 pandemic to the current Sh400,000.
They say the drop in prices was largely due to reasons associated with poor distribution of the minerals in world markets, random mining and the lack of a single entity or a large company to control the trading of the mineral.
The government says the price has indeed gone down during the past few months, blaming it on the global Covid-19 pandemic that has seen clients ditching luxurious minerals as they divert their disposable incomes to other pressing needs.
Minerals minister Doto Biteko told The Citizen yesterday that, like tanzanite, diamond prices had also gone down for similar reasons.
SOURCE: THE CITIZEN.