Zambia is one of the biggest emerald producers in the world, behind only Colombia and Brazil. One out of every five of the green gems is produced in this southern African country, bringing in about $200m a year.
But a closer look shows that the country’s emerald sector faces a number of challenges. Although the government has issued more than 400 mining licences to small-scale miners, only three emerald mines in Zambia are in full production.
The industry has major potential, but lack of capital has slowed its emergence. Makali Mine is a case in point. The road to the mine is bumpy and muddy; the area is covered with thick trees that someone might mistake for a forest instead of a mine.
For more on this story, visit: Zambia’s emerald conundrum – Features – Al Jazeera English.