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  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234869.jpg
    In the Amazonian region of Madre de Dios in Peru, La pampa, a vast area devastated by illegal gold mining. The band follows the vein of the precious ore through the forest. Nearly 960 km2 of forest have been devastated in 30 years by the illegal exploitation of gold and contaminated with mercury. The area borders the Tambopata National Reserve where the miners broke in, destroying 7.95 km2 of forest, one of the richest in biodiversity.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234870.jpg
    In the Amazonian region of Madre de Dios in Peru, La pampa, a vast area devastated by illegal gold mining. The band follows the vein of the precious ore through the forest. Nearly 960 km2 of forest have been devastated in 30 years by the illegal exploitation of gold and contaminated with mercury. The area borders the Tambopata National Reserve where the miners broke in, destroying 7.95 km2 of forest, one of the richest in biodiversity.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234871.jpg
    In La Pampa, a forest of completely dead trees, contaminated with mercury. Illegal miners have left 30 km2 of excavations, sometimes 7 m deep, where all the organic matter in the soil has been leached and contaminated with mercury. During the rainy season, the polluted water seeps into the soil and into the many rivers, contaminating the fish consumed by the local population, especially the indigenous people who live along the rivers.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234872.jpg
    In La Pampa, a forest of completely dead trees, contaminated with mercury. Illegal miners have left 30 km2 of excavations, sometimes 7 m deep, where all the organic matter in the soil has been leached and contaminated with mercury. During the rainy season, the polluted water seeps into the soil and into the many rivers, contaminating the fish consumed by the local population, especially the indigenous people who live along the rivers.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234873.jpg
    In La Pampa, in the region of Madre de Dios (Peru), illegal miners dug excavations sometimes 7 m deep, washing all the soil of its organic matter. Mercury-polluted "lakes" where nothing lives. On 100 km2 of old forest, there are now 30 km2 of new polluted lakes. During the rainy season, some of these lakes overflow. The polluted water seeps into the soil, even into the many rivers running through the region, contaminating the fish, which are very much consumed by the local populations, especially the natives living along the rivers.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234874.jpg
    In La Pampa, in the region of Madre de Dios (Peru), illegal miners dug excavations sometimes 7 m deep, washing all the soil of its organic matter. Mercury-polluted "lakes" where nothing lives. On 100 km2 of old forest, there are now 30 km2 of new polluted lakes. During the rainy season, some of these lakes overflow. The polluted water seeps into the soil, even into the many rivers running through the region, contaminating the fish, which are very much consumed by the local populations, especially the natives living along the rivers.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234875.jpg
    On the site of La Pampa, the remains of makeshift plastic campsites. Until the beginning of 2019, 25,000 people lived on the La Pampa site, minors with women and children, in extreme conditions, without any health services. Many survived in wooden and blue plastic shacks, and moved around as the mining went on. A poor unemployed population, coming from the neighboring Andes, and completely forgotten by the central government, attracted by the prospect of finally getting out of misery with quick profits: income of 5000 soles per month (1330 €) when the minimum wage in Peru is 230 €. A whole clandestine economy - shops, hotels, bars, restaurants, brothels - generated by the mines had been set up with its cortege of nuisances: human trafficking, sexual exploitation of young minors, elementary human rights violated, alcoholism, arms trafficking, organized crime.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234876.jpg
    On the site of La Pampa, an abandoned toy. Until the beginning of 2019, 25,000 people lived on the La Pampa site, minors with women and children, in extreme conditions, without any health services. Many survived in wooden and blue plastic shacks, and moved around as the mining went on. A poor unemployed population, coming from the neighboring Andes, and completely forgotten by the central government, attracted by the prospect of finally getting out of misery with quick profits: income of 5000 soles per month (1330 €) when the minimum wage in Peru is 230 €. A whole clandestine economy - shops, hotels, bars, restaurants, brothels - generated by the mines was set up with its procession of nuisances: human trafficking, sexual exploitation of underage girls, elementary human rights violated, alcoholism, arms trafficking, organized crime.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234877.jpg
    The entrance to one of the military bases on the outskirts of La Pampa. In February 2019, the Peruvian government dispatched 300 military, 1200 police, and 70 prosecutors for 14 days to hunt down illegal minors and regain control of the area. This operation, known as Operation Mercurio 2019, followed several smaller police and military interventions in previous years, which were unsuccessful. After recapturing the area, the government established three permanent bases at the gates of La Pampa, which are expected to remain there until 2021. Three hundred military personnel are responsible for preventing the return of the miners and dislodging those still there.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234878.jpg
    At the end of November 2019, a dozen soldiers of the Peruvian Navy Special Forces escorted a convoy of shrubs. The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp).
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234879.jpg
    At the end of November 2019, a dozen soldiers of the Peruvian Navy Special Forces escorted a convoy of shrubs. The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp).
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234880.jpg
    In Mazuco, 120 km from Puerto Maldonado, capital of the Madre de Dios region, there is a nursery installed by the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) where 14 species of trees grow. To restore the magnificent tropical forest of the Tambopata reserve, the Peruvian authorities made the crazy bet to reforest everything. These species were selected for their ability to grow in impoverished and degraded soil. The 140,000 seedlings will go to reforest the deforested lands of the Tambopata National Reserve. Experimental work began in 2016, with the financial support of the WWF (World Wildife Fund) and then the American agency USAID.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234881.jpg
    In Mazuco, 120 km from Puerto Maldonado, a technician presents an amasisa plant (erythrina ulei), one of the 14 species of trees grown in the nursery of the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia). These species were selected for their ability to grow in impoverished and degraded soil. The 140,000 seedlings will be used to reforest the deforested lands of the Tambopata National Reserve.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234882.jpg
    Young shoots of Chinbillo (Inga), one of the 14 species of trees grown in the nursery of the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) in Mazuco. These species were selected for their ability to grow in impoverished and degraded soil. The 140,000 seedlings will be used to reforest the deforested lands of the Tambopata National Reserve.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234883.jpg
    France Cabanillas, agricultural engineer and head of the reforestation department of the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) in the middle of the nursery he set up to reforest the devastated area of the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234884.jpg
    France Cabanillas, agricultural engineer and head of the reforestation department of the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) in the middle of the nursery he set up to reforest the devastated area of the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234885.jpg
    In Mazuco, 120 km from Puerto Maldonado, a nursery where 14 species of trees grow, installed by the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia). These species were selected for their ability to grow in impoverished and degraded soil. The 140,000 seedlings will be used to reforest the deforested lands of the Tambopata National Reserve.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234886.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp). On a chaotic track, about 30,000 plants must be transported from the military entry post to the reforestation point in the Tambopata National Park . The 20 kilometers or so require 3 to 4 hours of motorcycle riding on a dirt track with rough wooden bridges. However, travel conditions have clearly improved. At the time of the occupation of La Pampa by the miners, it sometimes took a whole day to enter the heart of the area.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234887.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp). On a chaotic track, about 30,000 plants must be transported from the military entry post to the reforestation point in the Tambopata National Park . The 20 kilometers or so require 3 to 4 hours of motorcycle riding on a dirt track with rough wooden bridges. However, travel conditions have clearly improved. At the time of the occupation of La Pampa by the miners, it sometimes took a whole day to enter the heart of the area.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234888.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp). On a chaotic track, about 30,000 plants must be transported from the military entry post to the reforestation point in the Tambopata National Park . The 20 kilometers or so require 3 to 4 hours of motorcycle riding on a dirt track with rough wooden bridges. However, travel conditions have clearly improved. At the time of the occupation of La Pampa by the miners, it sometimes took a whole day to enter the heart of the area.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234889.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve, under the watchful eye of the marines and rangers of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp). On a chaotic track, about 30,000 plants must be transported from the military entry post to the reforestation point in the Tambopata National Park . The 20 kilometers or so require 3 to 4 hours of motorcycle riding on a dirt track with rough wooden bridges. However, travel conditions have clearly improved. At the time of the occupation of La Pampa by the miners, it sometimes took a whole day to enter the heart of the area.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234890.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve on the other side of the Malinowski River that forms the border between the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234891.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve on the other side of the Malinowski River that forms the border between the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234892.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve on the other side of the Malinowski River that forms the border between the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234893.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve on the other side of the Malinowski River that forms the border between the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234894.jpg
    The shipment of plants leaves for the devastated part of the Tambopata National Reserve on the other side of the Malinowski River that forms the border between the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pampa.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234895.jpg
    In the Tambopata reserve, destroyed by illegal gold panning, a reforestation program is underway, officially launched on December 5, 2019 in the presence of the President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, and the Minister of the Environment, Fabiola Munoz. Approximately 40,000 seedlings selected and cultivated by scientists from the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) are to be replanted in the reserve.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234896.jpg
    In the Tambopata reserve, destroyed by illegal gold panning, a reforestation program is underway, officially launched on December 5, 2019 in the presence of the President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, and the Minister of the Environment, Fabiola Munoz. Approximately 40,000 seedlings selected and cultivated by scientists from the Centro de innovacion cientifica Amazonica (Cincia) are to be replanted in the reserve.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234897.jpg
    The marines controlling La Pampa are based in the heart of the Tambopata Reserve, at Point Azul, a ranger station of the National Service of State Protected Natural Spaces (Sernanp).
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234898.jpg
    The dozen soldiers controlling the Pampa are part of the commandos and special intervention forces of the Peruvian Navy.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234899.jpg
    Lieutenant Gino Del Carpio Fernández, officer of the Peruvian Navy and head of patrol in La Pampa. The dozen men under his command are part of the commandos and special intervention forces of the Peruvian Navy.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234900.jpg
    Even isolated in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, the military captures some internet connection in the treetops by intercepting the network... of illegal minors.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234901.jpg
    Even isolated in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, the military captures some internet connection in the treetops by intercepting the network... of illegal minors.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234902.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234903.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234904.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234905.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234906.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234907.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234908.jpg
    The soldiers are on mission in La Pampa for a month. In a few weeks, they will be called for other missions. Some of them are part of the Peruvian Army's Special Intervention Forces and are called to patrol territories controlled by drug traffickers. Another team will replace them. The Peruvian government plans to maintain this surveillance until 2021.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234909.jpg
    In the reserve of Tambopata, the Azul point, a guard post of the Sernanp rangers.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234910.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am. Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they think they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234911.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am. Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they think they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234912.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am. Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they think they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234913.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234914.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234915.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234916.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234917.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234918.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234919.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234920.jpg
    Departure on a reconnaissance mission at 3am on foot and partly by van (here in the distance). Illegal miners work a lot at night, taking advantage of the darkness to go unnoticed. Marines leave on patrol in the middle of the night to flush out miners at an operation they believe they spotted a few days earlier. To locate them, the military sometimes use drones, spotting fresh motorcycle tracks or the sound of pumps used by the miners.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234921.jpg
    The military heard illegal miners fleeing on motorcycles. They are securing the area in case the minors return with weapons. However, most of the time, the miners flee, not without first hiding the motor of their pump at the bottom of the water, which they hope to retrieve once the soldiers have left. The soldiers are not supposed to arrest the miners. Their mission is to flush out the illegal operations and destroy the installation with explosives.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234922.jpg
    The military heard illegal miners fleeing on motorcycles. They are securing the area in case the minors return with weapons. However, most of the time, the miners flee, not without first hiding the motor of their pump at the bottom of the water, which they hope to retrieve once the soldiers have left. The soldiers are not supposed to arrest the miners. Their mission is to flush out the illegal operations and destroy the installation with explosives.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234923.jpg
    The Marines discovered this barge with miners working on it just before the arrival of the military. The ore, pumped from the bottom of the excavation, is washed and sieved on a mat to concentrate the gold. before being plunged into large drums containing liquid mercury that amalgamates the gold flakes. A large quantity of mercury - between 3 to 50g of mercury to obtain 1g of gold - is needed. Most of it is then disposed of in the excavation with the other mining waste. The water takes on a "chocolate" color, a sign of high mercury concentration.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234924.jpg
    The illegal miners fled as the Marines approached, leaving all their belongings behind. They always have new motorcycle chains with them to make sure they can escape quickly in case of a marine patrol.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234925.jpg
    The illegal miners fled as the Marines approached, leaving all their belongings behind. Most of the time, the miners flee, not without first hiding the motor of their pump at the bottom of the water, which they hope to recover once the military has left.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234926.jpg
    The Marines discovered this barge with miners working on it just before their arrival. The ore, pumped from the bottom of the excavation, is washed and sieved on a mat to concentrate the gold. before being plunged into large drums containing liquid mercury that amalgamates the gold flakes. A large quantity of mercury - between 3 to 50g of mercury to obtain 1g of gold - is needed. Most of it is then disposed of in the excavation with the other mining waste. The water takes on a "chocolate" color, a sign of high mercury concentration.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234927.jpg
    The Marines discovered this barge with miners working on it just before their arrival. A marine probed the water to look for the pump that the miners had buried in the water before they escaped. The ore, pumped from the bottom of the excavation, is washed and sieved on a mat to concentrate the gold. before being plunged into large drums containing liquid mercury that amalgamates the gold flakes. A large quantity of mercury - between 3 to 50g of mercury to obtain 1g of gold - is needed. Most of it is then disposed of in the excavation with the other mining waste. The water takes on a "chocolate" color, a sign of high mercury concentration.
  • Dirty gold from Peru
    Peru
    Olivier Donnars
    LePictorium_0234928.jpg
    An illegal gold drilling barge discovered by marines in La Pampa. All the material left by the miners is buried in the water. Lieutenant Fernandez throws in ropes and a lifting pulley that could be used by the miners to pull up their pump motor, which they had buried in the water before they escaped.
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