2014 Madagascar Trip. Sapphire mine and Rough buying


Illakaka copy
Locals sifting through the gravels in the Illakaka River (Madagascar)
sapphire tailing
Mine Tailings and hills in the background. Thunderstorms coming soon.
local lady with sapphire
Local Lady with her stash of gemstones, Illakaka. (Madagascar)
getting down to the sapphire deposit Illakaka
Getting Down to the bottom of the Old River is sometimes quite labour intensive.
one of the overseers, yes that's a side arm. and he used it!!! poacher beware!!
one of the overseers, yes that’s a side arm. and he used it!!! poacher beware!!
pumping water out to get to bottom
Must Suck all this water out before getting to the Sapphire Layer
Locals mining the
Locals were allowed to mine the Tailings after we went through.




This is the Sapphire layer in Illakaka Deposit
Site manager pointing out the sapphire bearing gravels. all the rest is Overburden and non sapphire bearing.



Mark (the boss) with a sapphire from mine
Mark the mine owner, with a nice blue piece of rough
sapphire tumbler and machinery
Sapphire Plant, Trucks dump the Gravels in the top and they get wash through the plant with water pumped from the river,



Illaka mine ower and sri lankan sapphire buyers
Mine boss selling the weeks Sapphire Rough to some Sri Lankans (Illakaka and Madagascar is filled with them, buy rough, mostly)