Tanzanian authorities said on Sunday they have started installing CCTV cameras around the 25-kilometre Mirerani wall north of the country to control theft of tanzanite minerals.
Dotto Biteko, the east African nation’s Minister for Minerals, said the 24-hour surveillance CCTV cameras were the second phase of reinforcing security to ensure that the unique gemstone benefited the country.
Biteko was speaking at the inauguration of the Tanzanite Brokers Trading Center, a facility which now operates at the Mirerani mines entry gates in Manyara region.
“It is not enough to just fence the mines with a wall, but we also have to ensure that all areas within and around the mine are monitored around the clock to ensure that safety is guaranteed both to traders, miners and the revenue authorities,” said Biteko.
The surveillance cameras, scanners as well as other safety electronic devices were being installed by a company called Starfix Enterprises which has been commissioned by the government, said the minister.
Last year, a team of officials from the Mining Commission of Tanzania toured the mining quarries in the Mirerani Hills of Simanjiro and discovered a series of safety loopholes.
The team pointed out that there were some mineral brokers who still encroached into the quarries, buying gemstones from the mining entities then walked out of the gates with the gems clandestinely.
In September 2017, Tanzanian President John Magufuli directed the country’s army to build a wall around tanzanite mine site in northern part of the nation to control theft and smuggling of the precious gemstones.