b'Susan Wheeler Designs sapphire, diamond and 18-karat Fairmined gold necklaceThere is definitely a slowdown in mining activity because there are fewer buyers, both domestic and foreign. But thats on top of theIts time for the local fact that, in the rutilated quartz area I amminers maybe to embrace working, the resource is becoming moree-commerce and look at how difficult to get todeeper, farther, morethey can sell their gemstones expensive to mine, Cook says.For those who were trying to buy,without having to travel to issues arose from the staggered liftingthe shows. of restrictions, says Eric Braunwart. Patricia Mweene,Braunwart sources rough for his com- Inonge Zitapany, Columbia Gem House, from several countries, each of which reopened at a different pace, as did cutting centers aroundtion for Women in Energy and Extractives in the world, slowing the movement of goodsKenya, or AWEIK, say COVID-19 could force through the supply chain.workers out of mining permanently. In the latter, the closing of facilities amidWangombe says during the height of the pan-lockdowns also meant stone cutters were with- demic, many AWEIK member miners left the sector out work, he adds.to find other incomes, chief among them farming, but some also Lockdowns in India left cutters in Jaipur and Gujarat, many ofturned to selling wares and household items at local markets.whom are migrant laborers traveling to the cities to find work,Shes heard many times from the women in her association how without a job and unable to go home because they were quarantinedthe situation has drained them. They put a lot of time and effort into in the city.mining with little to no return on investment. They were in dire straits also, Braunwart says. Wangombe says she wont be surprised if many of the women who In East Africa, Dery and Hannah Wangombe, CEO of the Associa- turned to other jobs dont come back, or return only part-time as NATIONAL JEWELER 55'