Mongolia’s ”ninja” miners help sate China lust for gold

2012 оны 7 сарын 6

In a hot, concrete hut filled with acetylene fumes, an elderly Mongolian miner struggles to contain her excitement as she plucks a sizzling inch-long nugget of gold from a grubby cooling pot and raises it to the light.
Ninja miners live in traditional Mongolian tents at a a mining camp south-west of capital Ulan Bator. Over the years, dwindling legal gold supplies and a spike in black market demand have made work much more lucrative for them.
Ninja miners use old Russian-made vehicles to get around. They are so called ninjas beause of the large green pans carried on their backs that look like turtle shells.
A miner removes rocks from a hole he has dug to search for gold on a small hill overlooking grasslands south-west of Ulan Bator.
A miner shows the gold he and his colleagues have found in one day mining on a small hill.
Gold flakes are seen at the bottom of a pan. For many of them, the soaring gold prices more than make up for years of harassment, abuse and hard labour.
Small-scale miners watch a machine used to siphon gold from crushed rocks at a proessing plant.
Gold is weighed at a processing plant.
Miners remove mats placed to capture gold from a crushing machine at a processing plant.
Miners wait for their gold to be melted into one piece before being weighed and sold at a processing plant.
Workers" tools sit on top of a small stove used to melt gold at a processing plant.
Miners wait for their gold to be melted into one piece before being weighed and sold at a processing plant.
A woman performs a water displacement test to determine the purity of some gold that was brought in by small-scale miners at a processing plant.
A miner pours water into a crushing machine in an attempt to siphon gold at a processing plant.
A miner holds his gold that was melted together at a processing plant north of Ulan Bator.
A miner rests next to a hole he dug while searching for gold.
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