b'Tanzania. Ethiopia. Myanmar. local populations, says Gemworld InternationalsStuart Robertson. Colored gemstone source countries have begun takingRegulations to build beneficiation in-country arent more control of their mineral wealth in order to retainexactly newlaws and initiatives to capture more revenue more value.come and gobut there appear to be increased efforts in For most, the movement stems from knowing theirseveral places over the past few years. governments and their communities havent been reapingTheyre taking different forms: new duties, royalties and the benefits of their lands natural resources at the level fees; laws aimed at controlling mining; limits on exports they should be.with the intention of developing cutting and manufacturing I think the main driver is the realization in thesectors within the communities; and education programs. governments of some of these countries that theres beenThese beneficiation initiatives end goal seems simple at a huge disparity between the value of their resource oncefirst blushto ensure that these resources are going back to it leaves their border and the benefit that its brought, orthe producing communities. But what happens in-country is really, the lack of benefit the resources have brought to theactually complex and can create challenges along the way. THE CHANGING MARKET IN TANZANIAEast Africa is, arguably, the colored stone industrys most important region right now, producing a large quantity of goods and showing the most potential for new mines. This is especially true of Tanzania. The country is currently the source of dozens of types of gem-related materials, according to Robertson, so when its government started passing laws to tighten control of the mining and export of gems, the gem world took notice. More than a decade ago, in a move to create jobs and retain value from its natural resources, the Tanzanian government banned the export of any tanzanite rough weighing more than 1 gram (5 carats), requiring it to be cut in country. In 2017, President John Magufuli ordered construction of a wall around the tanzanite mines in Merelani after an investigation led officials to believe some mining firms were smuggling stones out and dodging taxes, according to local news reports. While some wondered about the effectiveness of this wall in pre-venting smuggling, Robertson says its construction sent a clear message that the government is serious about taking control of its resources. As of this writing, the wall still stands. The ban, meanwhile, expand-ed to a level that brought the market in the country to a slowdown.For some time last year, no rough stones could be exported fromIn the gem-trading area of Arusha, government officials also have Tanzania.gotten stricter about enforcing the requirement that foreign buyers Then earlier this year, the Tanzanian government eased up a bit,have a business visa to operate, Dery says. It costs $250. banning only the export of six mineralsruby, sapphire, emerald, anyPeter Periera, a dealer based in Tanzania who also operates a cutting type of green garnet and spinelweighing more than more than 2center and used to be a miner, says the taxes are more streamlined now, grams (10 carats).and though they could be lower, the gem industry in the country can Rough over that weight has to be cut in country; everything underwork with that. can be exported, according to gemstone faceter Roger Dery, whoHe did note, though, the $100 export license is hard for many travels to the country regularly to source gemstones.locals to buy. He estimates 80 percent of brokers who work directly The country also has been adjusting the royalties applied to thewith miners cant afford the new fee structure.value of exports and adding fees.This means more miners have to travel to take their goods to mar-In Tanzania, it costs $100 to purchase an export license. Exportersket or more people opt into quietly buying on the side to avoid taxes. also must pay a 6 percent royalty on the value of rough stones leavingAnother big change in the marketPresident Magufuli decided Tanzania and 2 percent on cut stones (these are reduced export royal- last year the government would build gem centers throughout the ties after feedback from the industry that recent hikes were too high,country, offering facilities for trade and export activities. according to Robertson, but are still up slightly from last year.) The goal, as of now, is to have one in each of Tanzanias 20 regions, Theres also a 1 percent fee that goes to the Ministry of Mineralsthough not every region has gem material, so it remains to be seen if for processing packages.that will be the case. NATIONAL JEWELER 61'