[QODLink]
In Pictures
In Pictures: Digging for gold in Mali
Workers in Mali's small-scale gold mines toil long hours in dangerous conditions for little pay.
Last updated: 11 Apr 2014 07:51
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Mali is Africa's third-largest producer of gold. Much of the production in the West African country takes place at large-scale mining projects owned by foreign corporations, but a significant portion of Mali's gold sector also consists of small-scale, labour-intensive, low-wage mining.

The work in these mines is largely unregulated. Children often work alongside parents, mines frequently collapse and workers are exposed to mercury and dust without protective gear.

Despite the hardships, many people flock to the gold mines in Mali's south and west to test their luck. Many came from elsewhere in Mali or from from neighbouring counties such as Burkina Faso, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire, chasing after rumours about striking it rich.

Many parents encourage their children to work in order to contribute to household finances. Girls as young as six years old work in the mines, first coming as infants on their mothers' backs and later working in the rivers and small water holes. Meanwhile, young boys are often tasked with digging and carrying earth that may contain gold dust.

Most children in the mines do not go to school and they, as well as other workers, complain of back problems and difficulty breathing or seeing as a result of the dust. The use of mercury to extract gold is also highly hazardous as the toxic element is handled with the miners' bare hands.

Although gold prices have fallen over the past year and some large mining operations in the country have stopped or slowed production, gold mining still accounts for 20-25 percent of Mali's GDP. Nevertheless, nearly 40 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line, and Mali remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

One worker, Moussa Togola, claimed that sometimes he didn't make any money for weeks or even months, as his salary depends on the quantity of gold he finds. "I work hard every day, from sunrise to sundown. If people are making real money off of this gold, off of this work, it's certainly not me."


/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Two young boys dig pits at an artisanal gold mining site in southern Mali. Their fathers also work at the mines. Many parents encourage their children to work in order to contribute to household finances. 



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Children often complain of back problems, difficulty breathing and poor eyesight as a result of exposure to dust and hard, manual labour.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Women, men and children search for gold in the rivers near the mining pits of Worognan, Mali.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Many gold miners in Mali come from the neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Cote d'Ivoire.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Women of all ages work as gold miners. Many of them first came as infants on their mothers' backs and later began looking for gold themselves in the rivers and small water holes.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

A woman looks for flecks of gold.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Most miners have to sift through a large amount of dirt, mud and rock to collect a tiny amount of gold. 



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Most children miners do not go to school. Villages usually only offer two classes to schoolchildren - one for young students and one for children in their early teenage years.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Despite Mali's gold reserves, about 40 percent of the country's population lives below the poverty line.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, sift through mud at a mine in Kekoro, Mali.



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Gold dust is weighed on-site by a gold dealer, who will later sell to another dealer in Mali's capital, Bamako. This gold will then be sold to smelters in Europe. 



/Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Mercury is mixed with gold dust to create a solid mass of gold. A flame is then placed over the gold to refine it and burn off the mercury. The process is very dangerous given mercury's toxicity and the lack of safety measures.




Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
images:
/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715444921292_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/2014471544577721_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715445265704_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715445468268_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715445671877_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715445843957_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/2014471544615982_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715446171537_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715446390744_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/2014471544793196_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715448249925_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/7/20144715447952868_8.jpg
captions:

Two young boys dig pits at an artisanal gold mining site in southern Mali. Their fathers also work at the mines. Many parents encourage their children to work in order to contribute to household finances. 

;*;

Children often complain of back problems, difficulty breathing and poor eyesight as a result of exposure to dust and hard, manual labour.

;*;

Women, men and children search for gold in the rivers near the mining pits of Worognan, Mali.

;*;

Many gold miners in Mali come from the neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Cote d(***)Ivoire.

;*;

Women of all ages work as gold miners. Many of them first came as infants on their mothers(***) backs and later began looking for gold themselves in the rivers and small water holes.

;*;

A woman looks for flecks of gold.

;*;

Most miners have to sift through a large amount of dirt, mud and rock to collect a tiny amount of gold. 

;*;

Most children miners do not go to school. Villages usually only offer two classes to schoolchildren - one for young students and one for children in their early teenage years.

;*;

Despite Mali(***)s gold reserves, about 40 percent of the country(***)s population lives below the poverty line.

;*;

Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, sift through mud at a mine in Kekoro, Mali.

;*;

Gold dust is weighed on-site by a gold dealer, who will later sell to another dealer in Mali(***)s capital, Bamako. This gold will then be sold to smelters in Europe. 

;*;

Mercury is mixed with gold dust to create a solid mass of gold. A flame is then placed over the gold to refine it and burn off the mercury. The process is very dangerous given mercury(***)s toxicity and the lack of safety measures.

Daylife ID:
b15eb5376f831066155a5fde8437e999
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera;*;Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Mali gold mininghttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_miningen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:56:08 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/2c4a34d4884fa8d39646a9ac8fe73e1bhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/2c4a34d4884fa8d39646a9ac8fe73e1bTanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/67dd85e932685fc303b4df208d875150http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/67dd85e932685fc303b4df208d875150Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/a86db6cda6494e91a9fac21c118d92dfhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/a86db6cda6494e91a9fac21c118d92dfTanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/38d75ea1caeafa05a557e53f6b8779a9http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/38d75ea1caeafa05a557e53f6b8779a9Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/dff52a88f7f5139cd130991156d877a2

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/dff52a88f7f5139cd130991156d877a2Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/191c2063a130681e3d576c8cf4187ec2http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/191c2063a130681e3d576c8cf4187ec2Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/83c4e634b67b91791c844414956cba68http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/83c4e634b67b91791c844414956cba68Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/8cede9b54fb7643ede8ae174f446c92ehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/8cede9b54fb7643ede8ae174f446c92eTanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/08a795612064dcc30bd4e9f86c9805d9http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/08a795612064dcc30bd4e9f86c9805d9Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/01628eb1f194f9aa4d11b6b6ab44d078http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/01628eb1f194f9aa4d11b6b6ab44d078Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/d4c41185d15fe344850dbeb0438febcchttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/d4c41185d15fe344850dbeb0438febccTanya Bindra/Al Jazeera http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/97ff4d4b75c3873bd30faf8fd5b52081http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Mali_gold_mining/slideshow/no-caption/97ff4d4b75c3873bd30faf8fd5b52081Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera


Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.