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Emerald mine

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Nova Era, MG, Brazil 

August 23, 2009 12:30 p.m. ( local time )

August 23– Sunday: Drive to Nova Era (en route stop in Catas Altas) to visit Emerald Mine.

After a sumptuous lunch at a local Brazilian barbecue restaurant, where we met our contacts, we headed to the mines of Capoeirana.

What a surprise: the owner of the mine we went to visit was my old acquaintance from the time my parents lived by the mines in Teófilo Otoni. Capeeirana is umbeliavable. There is mining activity there for more than 22 years and is still active. There are 2 other private industrial mines in the area, that are called "Belmont" and "Piteiras". We tried to access these mines, but for different reasons we couldn't. Lucky us, because if you had gone to one of the private mines we wouldn't be able to visit Capoeirana, that is kind of Public. The mine is operated privately, but many people has the opportunity to mine on their own either in public or private lands. Production is active in many mines, and recently a "bambu" was found and avaliated in $30 million dollars. "Bambu" (stand for bambu in English) is said when the miner hits a rich vain.

Reinaldo, the miner, explained what he has done in the mine for the past 18 years. Again, Dr. Toni gave us all the specs. All the mines have vertical shafts going down anything from 60 m to 300 m, and underground there are kilometers of interlacing tunnels.

After visiting a couple of mines, apparently the whole village (poor, low income, and no income people) was outside waiting for us to buy their emerald specimens. That was a fun part and I instructted the group to spread the buyings as much as possible between the sellers to make as many people as possible happy. Any 5 or 19 Reais would make it.

Next we went back to take the main road, and while on the secondary road we stoped by overlooking a nice waterfall to meet the real dealers that showed us their stupendous rough specimens and polished gemstones.

On the road now to Governador Valadares. Overnight in Governador Valadares.

Town people gathering to sell emerald

Inside a tunnel overlooking an emerald shaft

Inside Emerald Mine

A close of our friend JJ inside the Emerald Mine at Capoeirana.

Town people gathering to sell emerald

Little girl selling emerald

Town people gathering to sell emerald

Town people gathering to sell emerald

Town people gathering to sell emerald

Overlooking a shaft of emerald mine

Overlooking a shaft of emerald mine

Zealey couple at Capoeirana mine

Walking through the mines

Walking through the mines

Gemstone on the Roadside

This is a stop overlooking a waterfall to buy gemstones.

Walking through the mines

Emerald on the Roadside

This is a stop overlooking a waterfall to buy emeralds.

Dealers showing their treasures

ani holding an emerald

Waterfall by the Emerald Mine Road

This is a stop overlooking a waterfall to buy emeralds.

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