Price Gold Philippines 0208.JPG
A small-scale ore processing facility in a jungle mining area. This operation uses mercury which can leach into the runoff and find its way into nearby streams and rivers...The tumblers are loaded with coarse ore and water then tumbled for many hours until a thick sludge if formed. The sludge is then processed to remove the gold through a process of panning and treatment with mercury...A miner tends to the rotating drums, pouring water over them periodically to keep them cooled..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.