Responsible Mining

Responsible Mining

Responsible Mining - Discovery of a sapphire

Entry to small scale pit mine

Our natural Ceylon sapphires come from the small
scale pit mines we operate in the highland
complex of Sri Lanka

Responsible Mining - Rough sapphires

Shallow pit mining

Shallow pit mining is a very environmentally
sustainable way of mining. It may not be applicable where sapphire deposits lie deeper.

Responsible Mining - Small scale pit mine entry

Going into the mine

Work safety is the number one priority our operations. Mandatory protective equipment and securing methods such as electric winches are used to safeguard miners.

Responsible Mining - Shallow pit mining

Inside the mine - digging for sapphires

We know the origin of our gemstones and are commited to sustainable standards inside and outside of our mines.

Responsible Mining - Work safety for miners

Lifting soil out of the mine

Installment of a mechanical lift reduces the hard manual work for the miner.

Responsible Mining - Sustainable mine standards

Preparing the washing process

The river adjacent to the mining site is used in a traditional way to wash the soil and to discover rough sapphire crystals

Responsible Mining - Lifting soil out of the mine

When rough is finally found

Every rare discovery of a sapphire is inspected in detail to determine its quality

Responsible Mining - Discovering rough sapphire crystals through washing

Mix of rough sapphires

We only select the finest rough stones straight from our mines for further in-house processing

Fair Processing

Responsible Mining - Rough sapphire stones

Art of selecting a rough

We stand for female empowerment. We involve women in our cutting and quality management processes which are so far unusual in this industry

Responsible Mining - Female empowerment in the gemstone industry

Female Empowerment

We stand for female empowerment. We involve women in our cutting and quality management processes which are so far unusual in this industry

Responsible Mining - Standerdized processes and equipment for gemstone cutters

Standardized Processes

Clean working areas help to improve work safety. We always use the best machines and equipment for high  precision cutting by hand.

Responsible Mining - Enuring sapphire quality

Continuous quality control

Every facet has to be inspected for a perfect cut. A sharp, precise polish brings out the best luster and fire to our gemstones.

Fair Sapphires

We believe conscience is important when sourcing gemstones, and that is why we are the trusted source for “fair sapphires.” Our approach to the gem trade is to introduce transparency and traceability into each step of the value chain. We believe in establishing the concept of responsibly mined, fair processed gemstones that are sourced in an environmentally, and community friendly way. In short: fair for everyone – from mine to market!

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Responsible Mining - Entry of a gemstone mine pit
Responsible Mining - Traditional mining practises

Joint Venture Mining

Our gem mining business is run as a joint venture with our local partners in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s gem trade regulations are very strict and ownership of land, mines, and issuing of mining licenses are not given outright to foreigners. The laws only allow foreigners to own shares in a gem mining operation, but not sole ownership.

The traditional practices in Sri Lanka entitle everyone involved in the mining process (miners, mining licensee, land owner etc.) to a fair portion of the proceeds of sales; similar to a shareholder of a company. This has been a centuries-old practice in Sri Lanka, and it is a unique factor that make our fair trade gemstones special.

People, Communities and Culture

Mining in Sri Lanka is considered a prime example of environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and sustainable traditional mining. Sri Lankan miners use age-old traditional practices without the use of heavy machinery. Mines are constructed using locally sourced natural materials, and the safety of miners is the prime priority in this system.

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Responsible Mining - Mining tradition by a miner
Responsible Mining - Working exclusively with a miner

We work exclusively with miners from the region in close cooperation, building long-term relationships based on trust. The direct involvement of the local community is a very important factor that aids social cohesion across the different mining areas.

For us, local mining traditions are very important. In Sri Lanka, there are age-old rituals and practices that are still alive today. Traditionally, no women are allowed to work as miners but we strongly believe in fair and equal representation and female empowerment. We employ women in processing our gemstones and wholeheartedly support female self-determination and independence.

Responsible Mining - Fair and equal representation of women in the gemstone industry

Insights into the Gemstone Industry in Sri Lanka

The roots of the Sri Lankan gem industry run deep. Explore the background of the local industry, its historical context, geological features, and applicable rules and regulations for the mining and trading of gemstones.

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Responsible Mining - Outlook of a heated sapphire, Gem cutter at work, A miner performing traditions & Heat treament of gemstones

Traditional art of gem processing

Tradition is very important for mining families who are proud of their work and pass on their knowledge and experience to their future generations. Join us to get a glimpse into the daily religious rituals of miners and how traditional heating and cutting techniques are applied to our precious gemstones.

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