Let's Tour a Tanzanite Mine!

The haunting beauty of Merelani, Tanzania.
In the background, on the hill top, is Tanzanite One. The largest Tanzanite mine and the largest mine in Tanzania. Employing up to 300 miners and occupying all of Block C.
A video I made exploring a Tanzanite mine. This mine 0.5 miles deep!
My host and director of the mine I toured, Issaiya. Good guy!
This is an old style tanzanite mine. It goes directly straight down into the earth. This one is 2 kilometers (about a mile) deep and then branches off into 5 tunnels at the bottom. I was told that many kilos of tanzanite was pulled from this shaft.
The mine I went down had any production for 2 years. Think about that. They have been digging for 2 years without any production.
This is an abandoned tanzanite mine shaft.
This is the head miner for the mine I went down.
Miners clothes drying on the fence. Because of the extreme depth of the tanzanite mines, water seepage is a big problem.
Miners accommodations. 
One of the explosives used in the mining process. 15 to 30 holes at a time are drilled into the rock and each hole receives one of these explosive charges. 
The guys at the mine wanted to demonstrate the explosives they use. I thought I'd make a quick video of it.
I toured the house where the "leaders" of the mine stayed. This particular mine had approximately 100 miners. However, only a few got to stay in these 'luxury' conditions.
The bedroom of the director of the mine. When he's onsite he gets the bed (and fan) on the left.
This is the kitchen where the leaders have their meals cooked. They have their own cook.
The leaders also get to enjoy TV.
This is the "kitchen" for the vast majority of the people working at the mine. The hut actually has 3 of these pits. This one has something cooking in it.
A pot of beans a group of miners were cooking.
Miner sitting outside his hut.
This is the security for the mine. Notice the signage above the door. Enough said!
Me and my crew stopped for some BBQ after a long and strenuous day.
Thanks for making this possible! My goal is to tell the story of where our gems come from and the people who mine them. 

1 comment

  • This is an amazing bit of experience coming from the team at Joe Henley Rough and Gemstones. Thank you for sharing your exotic gem hunting experience with the world. It is both fascinating and important for the world market of gems and jewelry to see the sources of their treasures. There is an incredible story in each gemstone, and part of that story are the people who bring them up from a mile underneath the ground. (Wow!)

    Congratulations Joe and team on another successful adventure to Merelani!

    Nathan W

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