The Human Cost of Gold | National Geographic Magazine: Gold Miner in Ruined Landscape Earns 5USD a Day | Borneo

Gold Miner in Ruined Landscape Earns 5USD a Day | Borneo

Miners test in the 1000-ppm plus range for mercury (normal is 170 to 300).  They earn about $5USD a day.  Eastern Java is severely overcrowded and the government. has an official transmigration program over to Kalimantan.  In Eastern Java they can earn about 100RP a day hoeing the fields. Here they can earn upwards of 30,000-60,000RP ($3-$6) a day. So it is worth it to them to camp in this area, having only the water from the amalgam ponds to bathe and drink.

In another part of Indonesia – the province of Kalimantan, an investigation by the Indonesian government’s National Human Rights Commission in 2001 substantiated claims that Indonesian military and company security had forcibly evicted local small-scale miners and torched villages from 1989 to 1992 to make way for UK- and Australia-based Rio Tinto’s PT Kelian gold mine.  Local miners were never compensated for loss of livelihood, while the 440 families who were physically displaced to make way for the mine received only minimal compensation for their losses. The forced relocation, physical attacks, and loss of livelihoods that can be associated with the land expropriations are all serious human rights violations.

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