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Artisanal Gold Mining in Cameroon
Batouri, Bunduru Foro, Nairobi
By annamayumi
09 Jun 2015

Cameroon lies on the "gold belt" of West Africa, stretching from Mali through Ghana far into the continent. The eastern part bordering with the political instable Central African Republic is considered one of the most promising regions regarding gold and diamond resources. The business remains a poorly regulated one with hardly any official figures available on extraction or trade. Modern mining methods are under-utilised and foreign investors still to be drawn to the country. In more recent years international companies - mainly from France, China and Canada have shown increasing interest. With poor regulation of the sector and government prone for corruption this development is welcomed with careful scepticism. Illegal mining, land grabbing, and unlawfully accessed licences contribute to a bad image. 

Much of the gold extraction is conducted in artisanal mines. Families and villages jointly work together. Child labor is common, and numerous organizations have reported cases of parents taking their children out of school in order to support the family. 

Many of the informal mines are run by middle-men buying off the minerals (gold and diamonds) at low prices. But money issues are pressing and leave little room and/ or power for negotiation. A gram of 18 karat gold - the result of often multiple days of work goes for as little 10.000 XAF (about 15 Euros)

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

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Les eaux cachées [FR SCREENER]
Fez, Morocco
By Joe Lukawski
11 Feb 2015

FR SCREENER

Hidden Waters tells the story of water in Fez, Morocco, the cultural practices surrounding it, and those who aim to save it for future generations. In the medieval medina of Fez, water was once the motor of medieval commerce and industry as well as a source of well-being and luxury for its peoples. Today, as the old hydraulic system falls into disrepair and the river running through Fez is threatened by pollution; inhabitants of the medina depend on modern water sources that become more expensive as each well dries up and each old water channel breaks down. Can Fez’s famous waters be saved?

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Cameroon Gold Mining 04
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the village of Bunduru Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 03
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 05
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic. Many children regularly fail to attend school in order to support join their families from a very young age working in the mines. 18-year-old Pier sold a gram of gold for 10,000 XAF. He might get a better price (up to 14,000) but doesn't want to wait, he said.

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Cameroon's Informal Mines 07
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the village of Burundu Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves. Familiy members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil. The physically stronger male members of the community dig up the mineral rich soil in unsecured quarries dozens of meters below the surface.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 09
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a few minutes away of the small mining Village of Burundu Foro a Chinese Company (not wanting to be named) started a semi-industrial mine. They praise themselves for not employing children as compared to the artisanal mines in the region. Jean Pierre Ngandu, Chief of Burundu Foro meanwhile criticized their illegal acquisition of the mining ground.
According to the law about 30 percent of the revenue of exporting gold and diamonds should be paid in taxes. But even government officials operating in the mining sector confirmed that theory and praxis are poles apart.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 10
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a few minutes away of the small mining Village of Burundu Foro a Chinese Company (not wanting to be named) started a semi-industrial mine. They praise themselves for not employing children as compared to the artisanal mines in the region. Jean Pierre Ngandu, Chief of Burundu Foro meanwhile criticized their illegal acquisition of the mining ground.
According to the law about 30 percent of the revenue of exporting gold and diamonds should be paid in taxes. But even government officials operating in the mining sector confirmed that theory and praxis are poles apart.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 11
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers from Burundu Foro washing soil dug up in a nearby quarry in a rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the village of Burundu Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves. Familiy members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 12
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a short walk away international companies have established semi-industrial mines. In Burundu Foro artisanal miners keep working with rudimentary equipment.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 13
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Burundu Foro was constructed as a mining village. The living conditions are poor. Almost half of the Cameroonian population lives under the poverty line. For artisanal miners there is not much hope to climb the ladder in the trade business of precious minerals.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 15
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 01
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A girl carrying a tin pan in the gold mine next to the village of Bunduru Foro in eastern Cameroon. The village was built in proximity to mineral rich grounds. The entire community depends on the gold and diamond economy. They sell one gram of gold for as little as XAF 10,000 (USD 17) to middle-men, melting the fine grains into nuggets or simple jewelry and reselling with high margins. Children regularly fail to attend school in order to support their families.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 16
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 17
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 18
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 19
Batouri, Bunduru Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 20
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 21
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers of Bunduru Foro grinding dug up soil from the quarry in preparation to be washed in the rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 22
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers of Bunduru Foro grinding dug up soil from the quarry in preparation to be washed in the rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 24
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A woman from the village of Bunduru Foro panning for gold. Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing for gold.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 25
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A family at the village of Bunduru Foro in eastern Cameroon. The village was built in proximity to mineral rich grounds. The entire community depends on the gold and diamond economy. They sell one gram of gold for as little as XAF 10,000 (USD 17) to middle-men, melting the fine grains into nuggets or simple jewelry and reselling with high margins. Children regularly fail to attend school in order to support their families.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 02
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic. Many children regularly fail to attend school in order to support join their families from a very young age working in the mines.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 27
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A girl at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 26
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A girl at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 28
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A young girl treated for malnutrition at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Gun Disease_1
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. An active gold mine shaft at night. Miners work around the clock to meet increasing demand for domestic and international exportation.

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Gun Disease_2
Mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. Wat Tay, 35, shows the pneumatic drill that he uses to break rock in the tunnels. He carries the drill, slung over his solder, as he's winched 500 feet into the mine shaft.

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Gun Disease_3
Mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

The gold mining village of Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar. Gold mining is the major industry here, with over 30 mines in the area.

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Gun Disease_5
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. Wat Tay, 35, readies himself to descend. Because of the heat and dust in the tunnels, he wears very little clothing. Around his waist is a frayed rope harness.

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Gun Disease_6
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. Kwin Tone Sel, 42, lies in his home on the edge of the mining village. He contracted "gun disease" years ago, and has been deteriorating since. Apart from his oxygen tank, he receives no other medical attention.

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Gun Disease_8
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. A gold miner pans crushed ore to separate gold flakes from the rest of the stone. Workers collect the residue from the machine process, panning it at home, to make a little extra profit.

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Gun Disease_9
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. A winch control panel, with radio to communicate with the miners. As the controller hoists the workers to the requested height, the electrical contacts spark in the darkness.

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Gun Disease_10
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. Groups of men wait above the shaft, making dynamite, lowering workers, and hauling up ore.

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Gun Disease_11
mandalay, Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
07 Oct 2013

Sintku Township, Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 2013. The opening of one of hundreds of similar shafts.

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Daily Life - Poverty & Homelessness (...
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
17 Jun 2013

A boy, Samuel, eats food as he sits on rocks stored in sacks by his mother ready for onward shipment to end users in the oil rich Bayelsa .

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Daily Life - Poverty & Homelessness (...
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
17 Jun 2013

Two women in the oil rich Bayelsa State mine small rocks out moulding sand to make ends mate.

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Daily Life - Poverty & Homelessness (...
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
17 Jun 2013

A woman's leg in the a moulding field working to earn a living and feed her wards owing to her husband jobless in the oil rich Bayelsa, Nigeria.

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Daily Life - Poverty & Homelessness (...
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
17 Jun 2013

A woman digs into the moulding sand by the road side of Yenagoa to get small rocks for building contruction in the oil rich Bayelsa state owing to husband jobless to provide for the family.

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Spills & Curses (1 of 20)
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By Tife Owolabi
15 Jun 2013

Taggo, an iron fabricator, wears a Royal Dutch Shell T-shirt along the streets of Yenagoa in the oil rich state of Bayelsa.