Until 1998, the population of a small village in Madagascar Ilakaka barely reached 40 people. But in 1998, in line passing near the river were found large deposits of sapphires that caught here a Thai businessman who dealt in precious stones. Hearing about this brought in Ilakaku tens of thousands of new residents. Today it is the center and source of sapphire boom half of the production of sapphires in the world. Illegal miners are parallel to large-scale production. All sapphire business works here is almost without any control in the atmosphere of the Wild West with its lawlessness and crime. Over the next few years, together with sapphires, located at the surface, it was completely selected land in the field, and today gems mined in deep holes. Extraction of sapphires involved entire families. According to official studies, 19 out of 21 thousand children living here are engaged in the production of sapphire.
1) The miners are selected from sapphire mine near the southwestern Madagascan town Ilakaka to go home. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images)
2) Two prospectors carefully removed the bag of gravel from the depths of the mine near the river, where they are with the rest of the workers are looking for sapphires in Anzanakaro Ilakaki near Madagascar. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images)
3) A group of workers for payment podёnnuyu digging sand and loose soil on sapphire quarry near the town of Ilakaka in southwest Madagascar. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images)