Sapphire mines in Sri Lanka
Last summer, I travelled to Sri Lanka and I had the opportunity to visit traditional sapphire mines in Ratnapura. Here the standard pit mine consists of a vertical shaft that measures two by four meters. Depth can range up to 50 meters, though most pits are between 5 and 25 meters. There are usually several people involved in the venture, including the landowner, the holder of the mining rights, the suppliers of the oxygen and water pump and the miners. Concerning the gemstones, Sri Lanka is famous for sapphires.
I want to share with you the pictures and videos I took during the visit to the mines. They give an idea of the characteristics of Sri Lankan mines as well as the extraction process and the sifting process to find the stones.
By Costanza Ghera