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National Geographic Channel had an interesting episode called “Blood Red Rubies” that I tuned in to by total accident but stuck with.

The episode features a gemologist teaching local miners in Greenland how to properly mine for rubies. What particularly caught my eye was a very quick bit of conversation regarding beneficiation, or the participation in the value chain beyond the extraction of raw materials, but in the downstream cutting and polishing value-adding activities as well.

I found it interesting to note that such an initiative is not unique to diamonds (where Southern African nations are particularly interested in), nor is the confrontation of that desire with economic realities.