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In pics | Illegal gold miners ravage Brazil’s Amazon rainforest

According to the Amazon Geo-Referenced Socio-Enviromental Information Network, a monitoring group, more than 450 illegal gold mines are active in the rainforest, with thousands of applications for legal mines pending if the Bolsonaro bill is approved.

August 25, 2020 / 03:02 PM IST
The wiry figure of an illegal gold miner wields his machete to cut a path through virgin rainforest, opening the way for his partners heading to a gold mine deep in the Itaituba region of the Amazon, between two protected forest reserves. Miners work in a ravine at an illegal gold mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
The wiry figure of an illegal gold miner wields his machete to cut a path through virgin rainforest, opening the way for his partners heading to a gold mine deep in the Itaituba region of the Amazon, between two protected forest reserves. Miners work in a ravine at an illegal gold mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner uses a pan to separate gold fragments from dirt using water at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner uses a pan to separate gold fragments from dirt using water at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner torches gold to eliminate any mercury left as he works at an illegal gold mine the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 22. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner torches gold to eliminate any mercury left as he works at an illegal gold mine the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 22. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A miner points to gold fragments next to dirt in his bowl as he works at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A miner points to gold fragments next to dirt in his bowl as he works at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
Gold sits in a pan moments after being torched to eliminate any mercury left, at an illegal mine the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
Gold sits in a pan moments after being torched to eliminate any mercury left, at an illegal mine the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
It is part of a gold rush that started in 1984 after the precious metal was discovered in the region and around 30 tons of gold worth some $1.1 billion are illegally traded in the state of Para annually, according to National Mining Agency estimates, or about six times more than the amount legally declared. A gold miner weighs his weekly production at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 22. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
It is part of a gold rush that started in 1984 after the precious metal was discovered in the region and around 30 tons of gold worth some $1.1 billion are illegally traded in the state of Para annually, according to National Mining Agency estimates, or about six times more than the amount legally declared. A gold miner weighs his weekly production at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 22. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
Environmental activists say the lure of such riches has encouraged illegal mines adding to the growing deforestation in the region and poisoning the land with toxic chemicals and runoff. Men search for gold at an illegal gold mine in the Amazon jungle in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
Environmental activists say the lure of such riches has encouraged illegal mines adding to the growing deforestation in the region and poisoning the land with toxic chemicals and runoff. Men search for gold at an illegal gold mine in the Amazon jungle in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
According to the Amazon Geo-Referenced Socio-Enviromental Information Network, a monitoring group, more than 450 illegal gold mines are active in the rainforest, with thousands of applications for legal mines pending if the Bolsonaro bill is approved. Gold miner Ze Preto sits next to a suction pump at an illegal mine in a ravine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
According to the Amazon Geo-Referenced Socio-Enviromental Information Network, a monitoring group, more than 450 illegal gold mines are active in the rainforest, with thousands of applications for legal mines pending if the Bolsonaro bill is approved. Gold miner Ze Preto sits next to a suction pump at an illegal mine in a ravine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner washes a carpet used to trap gold fragments as he works at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
A gold miner washes a carpet used to trap gold fragments as he works at an illegal mine in the Amazon jungle, in the Itaituba area of Para state, Brazil, August 21. (Image: AP/Lucas Dumphreys)
Associated Press
first published: Aug 25, 2020 03:02 pm

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