Paracale in the Philippines’ is also known as “Goldtown”. RTD visits its illegal goldmines where child labour is rife and health and safety virtually non-existent. To extract gold, miners dive into a mud-filled shaft, sometimes never to come back.
Compressor mining is a highly dangerous activity in which miners dive 30 feet underwater using only a plastic tube to breathe. Some stuff their ears with cotton and wear masks to protect their eyes. When they reach the bottom of the pit they dig out the earth and place it into rice sacks, which are hoisted to the surface for sifting. Divers get paid twice the amount of other workers.
Explore the Philippines’ deadly underwater gold mines. Here, locals dive 30 feet deep into muddy water in the hope of finding gold so they can feed their families. Our crew visited the gold town of Paracale in the coastal province of Camarines Nortes to find out how it works.
The earth is panned for gold on the surface. The process involves rotating a pan until the gold sinks to the bottom – one of the cheapest and easiest ways of extracting gold. Kids often start work by helping out in the panning areas before moving on to diving.
“Geological scandal” is a phrase often used to describe The Democratic Republic of Congo. It is one of the world’s most resource-rich countries with extensive deposits of gold, diamonds, tungsten and uranium amongst many others. The abundance of internationally valued minerals has however failed to bring any kind of prosperity. It began with colonial exploitation of the land and its people and continued in bloody civil war, the Congolese have harvested nothing from their country’s natural riches but misery and poverty.
For 100 years, Jharia town in India has lived on top of a perpetually burning coal field. Once green and beautiful, the region is now scorched and barren, while its people are suffering from respiratory diseases. Despite the danger, most families daren’t relocate because coal provides their only means of income.