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05. Digging in hard substrate (Ifanato)

Digging in hard substrate (Ifanato)
The hard limestone substrate of some mining sites (such as Andranodambo and the Sept Lacs region) is very difficult for miners to penetrate with simple handtools such as this sledgehammer and spike (lamasy and gila, from the French la masse and l’aiguille). Mining pits of any length take much more time to dig here than in places with sandy soil (such as the mines in the Sakaraha – Ilakaka region), yet are sturdier and less likely to collapse. The hard limestone also poses a health risk for miners as sharp chips can fly off and cut skin or eyes.