The Human Cost of Gold | National Geographic Magazine: Gold Fever Destroys Forests | Ituri, DR Congo

Gold Fever Destroys Forests | Ituri, DR Congo

Small time gold prospecting goes on in any small opening of the forest – just off the newly carved roads. Gold fever is contagious in northeastern Congo, where the metal finances local warlords. Would-be prospectors need only old truck parts to get into the business: Wheel rims become mortars and drive shafts are used as pestles. Rocks are smashed and washed by hand in search of yellow flecks.

The mountains of gold in Bunia are eroded thru the Ituri River watershed and deposited throughout the region.The worst war lords are along this area in the Albertine Rift where the gold can be extracted.

4 million have died trying to get away from conflict that is ultimately about resources.

Buy This Image