Tanzania has set up an auction for its precious minerals

The country's president Magafuli is on a path to protect the mineral wealth of the country

Tanzania’s government has taken the unusual step to auction an amount of the precious mineral,tanzanite, on Saturday.

The mineral is unique to the East African country and a  3-5 carat stone can fetch up to $700 dollars on the open markey.

according to Tanzania’s assistant commissioner of minerals,Goodleader Shoo, the government had resolved on the auction to help the country benefit from its natural resources while also aiding small scale miners get good prices.

“The auction will be carried out under heavy security due to the sensitivity of the matter as Tanzanite has great value and we want to restrict the unfaithful ones to come into the auction."

The move is the latest in a series by the country’s president ,John Magafuli to protect the country’s mineral wealth. Magafuli has accused international companies mining in the country of short changing the state in their tax declarations and recently imposed a $1.9 billion tax fine on gold production company,Acacia.

He has also ordered the army to build a wall around the country’s tanzanite mines to prevent smuggling and better control exports of the precious gems unique to the country.

According to a report by a  commission of inquiry set up by Magufuli in June estimated that $ 90 billion had been lost in tax evasion arising from mining operations since 1998.

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