Slideshow - Gold mining in eastern DRC

  • Thousands of people work in gold mines in Iga Barrière, in Ituri Region

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212180941110631/Thousands-of-people-work-in-gold-mines-in-Iga-Barrière-in-Ituri-Region
  • Women make up much of the artisanal workforce

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212180944450336/Women-make-up-much-of-the-artisanal-workforce
  • Shafts, some as deep as 8m, are dug by hand

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212180948050172/Shafts-some-as-deep-as-8m-are-dug-by-hand
  • The workings create treacherous, steep-sided mounds

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181000570535/The-workings-create-treacherous-steep-sided-mounds
  • Water is pumped out of shafts continuously

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181002230635/Water-is-pumped-out-of-shafts-continuously
  • The resulting muddy pond is the only available washing area

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181005440665/The-resulting-muddy-pond-is-the-only-available-washing-area
  • Some miners work as day-labourers; others form their own cooperatives

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181007540342/Some-miners-work-as-day-labourers-others-form-their-own-cooperatives
  • The tailings of disused colonial-era mines are also worked over

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181010050760/The-tailings-of-disused-colonial-era-mines-are-also-worked-over
  • Few wear protection against the dangerous dust created by pounding rocks…

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181011360162/Few-wear-protection-against-the-dangerous-dust-created-by-pounding-rocks
  • …into powder that is then sieved….

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181013000480/into-powder-that-is-then-sieved
  • …and mixed with water and mercury - another health hazard

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181014470871/and-mixed-with-water-and-mercury-another-health-hazard
  • With the price of gold at record levels, even the smallest speck is worth finding.

    Guy Oliver/IRIN
    /photo/Details/201212181018120044/With-the-price-of-gold-at-record-levels-even-the-smallest-speck-is-worth-finding

Gold mining in eastern DRC

JANUARY 2013 - Gold mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Ituri Region has been practised since the discovery of alluvial gold there 1904. No one is quite sure how many gold sites are in operation at any one time, but it is estimated that there are more than 100,000 artisanal - or small-scale - gold miners in the region alone. Although the DRC’s Mining Code contains numerous health and safety regulations, few are adhered to.
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