Opal is a precious resource in Coober Pedy and the international market for opals is what helps keep the outback South Australian town going. But international border restrictions have all but stalled that trade.
Coober Pedy is often nicknamed the ‘opal capital of the world’, with its rich quantities of the rare gemstone the reason so many people travel to the outback town.
Some of those travellers arrive from countries like India and Hong Kong to buy opal. The word gets around town that the buyers are here and miners line up ready to sell their stock.
Coober Pedy Miners Association President Justin Freytag said the border closures had led to some miners stockpiling opal.
“They have been putting them in a safe and waiting for things to open up,” he said. Dale Price has been mining opal for more than 40 years and said coronavirus had had a big impact on the market.
For the rest of this article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-28/border-closure-stalls-coober-pedy-opal-market/12400060