Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dangerous trade

Dangerous trade … a small colony of small gold operators is seen at an abandoned fishpond at Baranggay Sta Milagrosa, in Mambulao. Photograpy hobbyist Noe Christian S Nolasco was biking along the cemented Larap road at Sta Milagrosa recently when he chanced on the floating gold miners. He said they were actually extracting gold-laden earth from the bottom of the water using compressor. To collect the earth, a diver fits his mouth with an air hose attached to an air pump or a compressor operating aboard the banca, which supplies him with air, allowing him to stay longer under water. In the past, there were instances when the air compressor conked out, thus cutting air supply to the divers who were several meters under the water, causing their death. The use of compressor in small mining operations has been illegalized by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), but as it is, its use has become rampant as more and more miners turned to sea bottom for possible gold. – Story by AP HERNANDEZ, photo by NOE CHRISTIAN S NOLASCO

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