Heartbreaking Photographs of Child Labour In Philippine Gold Mine
The Philippines produced more than 1 million troy ounces of gold in 2011, ranking 18th in world production. More than half of that gold came from small-scale mines, where lots of people work illegally. Many of them are entire families, including very young children. Workers extract the gold from rock by hand or very primitive tools. They also use mercury in a process, which contaminates the area, water and food supplies. The process also exposes them to highly toxic mercury fumes.
Children risk injuries, long-term health problems or even death because of heavy, manual labor, exposure to dust and chemicals and, worst of all, mercury poisoning. In compressor mining, teenagers and young boys get down into deep pits filled with muddy water. They fill bags of ore in darkness, breathing through a tube attached to a compressor on the surface. They risk their lifes as the sides of the pits tend to collapse and bury them alive.
Photographer Larry C. Price took a trip to the Panique mining area about 10 kilometers outside the town of Aroroy on the Island of Masbate, and shot some heartbreaking photographs of child labour in Philippine gold mine. Check them out below.