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May 7, 2013

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Children risk their lives in Tanzania’s gold.. TANA GOLDF...

Children risk their lives in Tanzania’s gold mines to help families TANA GOLDFIELDS Mining Articles Thousands of children as young as eight are risking their lives daily by working in Tanzanian small-scale gold mines, as they are constantly exposed to serious risks such as mercury poisoning and pit collapses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Wednesday. The global rights watchdog’s document, Toxic Toil: Child Labor and Mercury Exposure in Tanzania’s Small-Scale Gold Mines, describes how children dig and drill in deep, unstable pits, work underground for shifts of up to 24 hours, and transport and crush heavy bags of gold ore. All this to support their impoverished families. Children also face high risks of injuries from pit collapses and accidents with tools, as well as long-term health damage from exposure to mercury, breathing dust and carrying heavy loads. Human Rights Watch also found that girls on and around mining sites face sexual harassment, including pressure to engage in sex work. Some girls become victims of commercial sexual exploitation and risk contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. “Tanzanian boys and girls are lured to the gold mines in the hopes of a better life, but find themselves stuck in a dead-end cycle of danger and despair,” said in a press release Janine Morna, children’s rights research fellow at Human Rights Watch. “Tanzania and donors need to get these children out of the mines and into school or vocational training.” The human rights group urged the country’s government and the international community to tighten control over this extreme form of child labour. In 2009, the country launched a national action plan to eliminate this problem, and even banned under-18s from engaging in hazardous work, including mining. Fast-forward four years and the initiative still hasn’t accomplished the main goal of at least reduce the total number of children employed in mines. Tanzania is Africa's fourth largest gold producer. In the first six months of 2013 exported over $1.8 billion of the precious metal, but the recent unrelenting slump in gold prices threatens to shut several of the country’s mines and curb investment. Source: http://coconutbutt http://www.care2.c om/c2c/share/detai l/3622588  (Sep 1, 2013 | post #1)


TANA Goldfields United Kingdom Extreme extraction

http://www.tvinx.c om/tana_goldfields _united_kingdom_ex treme_extraction.n ews.28651.en The increasing price of precious metals has prompted mineral prospectors to consider unusual places. Jon Evans looks into the future of mining. Mining is already a reasonably extreme activity, moving and processing large quantities of material in often unpleasant and hazardous conditions. But imagine how much more extreme it would be to mine at the bottom of the ocean or on asteroids in the depths of space. That is exactly what a few pioneering companies are planning to do. The impetus for these extreme forms of mining is the recent dramatic rises in the price of many metals, driven by dwindling supplies from conventional land-based sources and by large increases in demand outstripping available supply. This is the case for bulk metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt, precious metals such as gold and platinum, and the so-called rare earth elements such as lanthanum and neodymium that are used in many modern technologies. Since 2000, the price of copper has quadrupled and the price of platinum has tripled. The rare earth elements have collectively increased in price by a factor of 20 since 2005. This all means that potential sources of these metals that were previously dismissed as too far-fetched, such as the ocean floor and asteroids, have now become economically viable – at least theoretically. Indeed, the mineral resources potentially available on the ocean floor and in asteroids are quite staggering. It has been estimated that an area of sediment just 1km2 at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii contains enough rare earths to meet one-fifth of global annual demand, while a single platinum-rich 500m-wide asteroid could yield around 1.5 times the known global reserves of platinum group metals. But even though the economics of extracting metals from the ocean floor and asteroids may now be more favorable, the technical obstacles remain substantial. Despite lots of planning, no deep-sea mining operations have yet been undertaken, and the necessary technologies for asteroid mining have not even been developed. The potential environmental costs could be also being high: deep-sea mining may cause major disruption to ocean habitats, while asteroid mining could cause one to crash into the Earth.  (May 28, 2013 | post #1)