GemNotes

MINING DISASTER PUTS TANZANITE ON ENDANGERED LISTEl Niño monsoons destroyed mines and killed more than 100 miners in April in the gem areas of Meralani, Tanzania, threatening the supply of tanzanite over the next few months. At least a dozen tanzanite pits in an area called Block B have been completely shut down.Enormous amounts of rain and poor tunnel construction caused the mines to cave in. Block B, which produces the highest percentage of tanzanites in the country, is in a low-lying area of the district. When the rains came, miners took to the pits for cover. But flash floods sent waves of water, along with the excavated dirt from the mines, cascading back down into the pits, burying the miners.There’s no way to know the exact number of men killed, and there remains little hope for those who may be trapped. Because of the haphazard layout of the mines, one pit, 100 meters down, ma
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