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A couple stand knee deep in a river while they search for saphires. She pans while the man shovels gravel into a wash trough. Ilakaka has grown from a village of 40 people in 1998 into a sapphire mining shantytown of more than 60,000 inhabitants. There are both international concerns and individuals seeking their fortunes in the area although the majority of people earn barely GBP 1.40 per day as labourers.