Until recently, emerald mining in Ethiopia has largely been carried out by artisanal miners who are organised into unions and cooperatives. As such, emerald mining is emerging as a major sector, creating job opportunities for more than 30,000 Ethiopians. Most emeralds are then exported to Switzerland, Australia and the United States. In 2017, Ethiopia exported 2,290kg of emeralds. Surpassing the export of opal and sapphire which are the current major gemstone types exported.