Price Gold Philippines 0124.JPG
The Luy-A mining area outside the town of Aroroy is home to numerous mines dating to the pre-World War II era. While still classified as small-scale, some ore processing operations employee dozens of workers and are capable of processing many tons of ore at a time in large mechanized tumblers. Huge 7-foot-deep vats process the ore slurry using cyanide to help separate the elemental gold from ore. ..Deep inside one of the mines at Luy-A, a young boy carries an ore sack toward the surface...Story Summary:.Small-scale gold mining in the Philippines uses mercury and cyanide to extract elemental gold from ore extracted from mines and pits dug by hand. Very young children, some as young as four, are put to work at less dangerous but still rigorous tasks in the gold mining areas. These include panning in streams or rivers and hauling ore sacks that can weigh up to 60 pounds. Children often play near mechanized equipment and highly toxic mercury and cyanide. These chemicals, used to help extract elemental gold from ore, are leached into nearby watersheds where fish and other marine life, mainstays of the Philippine diet, are poisoned. The high price of gold and the poor economy in many developing countries has led to an increase in small-scale gold mining throughout the world.