Trouble In Tanzania

AFGEM, the South African gem-mining corporation that two years ago leased prime property in the Merelani tanzanite mines from the Tanzanian Department of Energy and Minerals, is at odds with its neighbors. AFGEM's Block C lease is the largest mining area in the region, yielding the highest percentage of fine-quality rough tanzanite. Local miners of Blocks D and B believe they have been wrongly kept away from the hillside of Block C, and they say AFGEM hasn't lived up to its end of the bargain to acquire it. According to Tanzanian news reports, the agreement between AFGEM and the Tanzanian minister of mines included a promise that AFGEM would create jobs for miners, improve local infrastructure such as roads and water supplies, furnish jobs in local cutting factories, and provide "significant contributions to community development." AFGEM has done little to keep its promise, the news re

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