Madagascan Sapphire Mining
Found this very interesting slideshow on sapphire mining in Madagascar recently – by Lihee Avidan and Mat Heywood for the BBC.
Highlighting the dangers of mining and the struggle faced by many miners to make a decent living, both the photographs and audio tell a fascinating story. This image from the slide show (source at above link) is an example of a family group operating a small mine (a dangerous single shaft with inadequate ventilation or safety supports). The Ministry of Energy & Mining representative notes the high death rates on the mining fields as a major problem. The accompanying article “Madagascar’s Sapphire Rush” by Jonny Hogg for the BBC is also well worth reading. Some difficult issues that should be considered the next time you see that beautiful Ceylon sapphire in the jewellers shop – a stone which most likely came from Madagascar.
cheer for now from Andrew and Leah Lane (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)