Tags / Gold Mine
This photo essay gives an insight into Burkina Faso’s growing gold industry and depicts the humans that risk their lives extracting this precious metal.
The women of the surrounding villages come by to collect the potable groundwater as the miners switch on the pump.
Children have to work in the artisanal gold mines of Bouda in order to support their families, despite the fact that child labour is illegal in Burkina Faso.
A steep and unsupported mine shaft with a depth of about ten meters.
A woman carries excavated soil from a mine shaft on her head.
Miners pull out bags of soil out of one of the deeper shafts.
A young miner wears an improvised headlamp after coming out of a mine shaft near Bouda.
A group of workers takes a break under a tarp
A group of women washes their clothes and also pans for gold.
A miner squats in front of a generator which is used to pump water out of the deeper mine shafts.
A boy sells little plastic bags containing water to the workers in the vicinity.
A small hut that is used by the workers to stow away tools and clothes.
Tom Hendricks, gold miner and owner of The Cross mine, Nederland Colorado. As a 19-year old geology student, Tom discovered The Cross mine. After he got his geology degree in 1973 he acquired it and began working it in 1977. He has since made it his life's work to mine in an environmentally sound way, minimizing environmental damage.
Cloud over the Little Johnny mine, near Leadville Colorado.
Gold panners, near Golden Colorado. Due to the increase in unemployment in the state, gold panners like these are an increasingly popular site in the mountains, where on a good day it's possible to make $200-$300 per day.
Jesse and Justin, gold miners near Blackhawk Colorado. The nuggets Jesse and Justin hold are worth over $15,000 and came from the mine which is on their property. They make their living from these impressive looking nuggets and from a small tourist gold panning business which Jesse runs out of the small river that runs through the property.
Bill, gold prospector and owner of 'Gold - N - Detectors' prospecting supplies store Golden Colorado. 'Gold - N - Detectors' sells prospecting supplies and showcases customers and Bill's own finds. There has been a dramatic increase in demand for gold panning equipment and metal detectors since the economic downturn.
Mine tailings, Nevadaville Colorado. These huge piles of material on the outskirts of the ghost town of Nevadaville, were produced when the mines were first excavated. Modern day prospectors search through these tailings to find precious metals which were ejected from the mines and overlooked by the original diggers.
Open cast gold mine, near Cripple Creek Colorado. This open cast mine, still producing gold, is an industrial operation in complete contrast to the small scale operations of many subsistence miners in Colorado.
Hillside with mine tailings, Stumptown Colorado. Stumptown was once the site of a booming mining industry. These times long since past, have left the hillside scattered with the remains of mine shafts and mine tailings - piles of material brought to the surface when excavating the mine tunnels. Modern day prospectors search these tailings with metal detectors, hoping to scavenge nuggets that were missed the first time around.
Abandoned mine workings, Nevadaville Colorado. These abandoned mine workings on the outskirts of the ghost town of Nevadaville are the only thing left to see of the 'played out' mine they served. Like many other nearby ghost towns in Colorado, Nevadaville's residents left after the mines stopped producing.
Flooded and collapsed mine shaft, Stumptown Colorado.
Jesse, gold miner and mine owner near Blackhawk Colorado. Jesse owns a gold and silver mine which he says has been in use since the spanish conquistadors passed through the country hundreds of years ago. He makes his living from impressive looking gold nuggets he finds and from a small tourist gold panning business which he runs out of the small river that runs through his property. The nearby post gold rush towns of Blackhawk and Central City have been transformed in recent years by the relaxing of gambling laws leading to the construction of vast casino complexes to entice gambling tourists and prevent them from becoming part of Colorado's ghost town history.
Abandoned mine workings, Idaho Springs, Colorado.
Bob, gold prospector, Little Jonny Mine, Stumptown Colorado. Stumptown was once the site of a booming mining industry. These times long since past, have left the hillside scattered with the remains of mine shafts and mine tailings - piles of material brought to the surface when excavating the mine tunnels. Modern day prospectors search these tailings with metal detectors, hoping to scavenge nuggets that were missed the first time around.
Cow skull at 'Vic's Gold panning' tourist attraction near Blackhawk Colorado.
Lubumbashi-Katanga Province-Democratic Republic of Congo- September 11th,2013-One of the 50 most influential Africans, Moise Katumbi Chapwe, in addition to being governor of Katanga Province, the Democratic Republic of Congos mining heartland, is even a businessman and ows a famous african soccer team, the TP Mazembe. Internationally known as The Jew from Katanga, Moise Katumbi Chapwe, the multimillionaire congolese businessman is the powerful governor of the province of Katanga, one the mineral-rich Wild West zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Moise Katumbi Chapwe is the son of Nissim Soriano, one of hte many Sephardic Italian Jews who emigrated to the Congo from the Greek Rhodes Island (then under Italian rule) to flee the Nazis prior to World War II.The picture shows Governor Moise Katumbi Chapwe, moments before boarding his private jet going to visit the Katanga regions remote zones.
In the birthplace of the ancient philosopher Aristotle, a popular movement fight against the aperture of a new gold mine in the Skouries forest, owned by El Dorado Gold, a canadian company. In Halkidiki region, in the north of Greece, El Dorado is planning to build a combination of open-pit and underground gold mines, linked to its existing Stratoni lead-zinc mine.
In December 2003, the Cassandra Mine assets of TVX Hellas S.A. in the Halkidiki peninsula were transferred by law to the Greek State for 11 million euros. They were sold the same day to Hellas Gold S.A. for the same price, without any economic assessment of the assets or an open competition.
According to Greek mining regulations, the company has full possession of the minerals contained in the concessions granted and there are no royalties payable to the State – providing little economic security to the region or the State. Due to current political instability in Greece and the accompanying state-wide austerity measures, Greek authorities have displayed little tolerance for displays of opposition from citizens in the region.
At the end of October 2013, the movement was accused to be "a criminal organization" after tapping journalists and activists.
Photos and Text by Michele Lapini
Thirty-eight yea-old Kishan Chauhan lost his leg to gangrene after a lesion caused by arsenic poisoning became infected
Locals ominously refer to this area as ‘cyanide mountain,’ referring to the large amounts of sodium cyanide present in the tailings.
Unsafe dumping from the mine has effectively rendered surrounding farmlands both infertile and poisonous to their owners.
A view of farmlands in threat from what local farmers call the 'cyanide mountain', formed by the dumping of mine tailings from the local gold mine.
The mountain of sodium cyanide formed by mine tailings from the Hutti Gold mine
India’s abandoned Mangalur mine has been closed for 20 years, however, its toxic waste continues to haunt the lives of those inhabiting surrounding villages.
In Kanataka’s Raichur District, mine tailings continue to be dumped on farmland, rendering it not only unfertile, but also poisonous to residents. Tests on soil samples have shown this practice has effectively made the soil unsafe for use for at least 25 years.
Economic and social sectors are not the only areas suffering as a result of the toxic dumping. Locals ominously refer to the area as the 'cyanide' mountain, owing to the large amounts of sodium cyanide present in the tailings.
Chandibai, a 70-year old woman from Kiradali Tanda village, has developed deep lesions on her hands because of arsenic in the local drinking water.
Thirty-eight year old Kishan Chauhan has also been highly affected by the poisonous contents of the water. He lost his leg to gangrene after a lesion, caused by arsenic poisoning, became infected. He has since migrated over 500 kilometers away to Dodamargh, Savantwadi in Belgaum, where he earns 200 Rs (around 4 dollars) per week breaking stones. Despite his handicap, he has no choice but to work in hard labor to support his wife and two young daughters.
Dozens of such cases continue to emerge from Kiradali Tanda, where an independent study has shown has shown that water from village wells contains around 303 micrograms of arsenic per liter. The World Health Organization currently cites 10 micrograms per liter as the maximum acceptable level for human exposure.
India’s Mangalur mine, just four kilometers from the arsenic-ridden village of Kiradalli Tandi, originally began as a colonial project of Britain’s empire in the late 19th century. Karnataka’s government briefly reopened the mine nearly 70 years later, until flooding again forced it to close in 1994.
Sudhram holds a photo of his wife Rukhmani Bai, who suffered and died from cancer in 2012 at the age 38. He had to sell over five acres of his land to upper-caste farmers to pay for her hospital bills. Today, he himself has the similar lesions that led to his wife's death.
He laughed when I asked him if he was afraid of death.
The well in the village without safe drinking water.
Portraits of a dying village.
Chandibai, aged 70 shows lesions on her hands caused by arsenic in local drinking water.
The sealed-off entrance to the abandoned mine, whose toxic tailings continue to endanger inhabitants of surrounding villages.
The closed entrance to the Mangalur Mine, that was mined by the British Empire in the years 1887-1913, and briefly re-opened by the Government of Karnataka in the years 1980-1994. It was shut down due to flooding.