If you think that mining nowadays – it only giant corporations and application of high technology, it is very surprised to read our story about how they are produced in Asia actually bare hands.
During the military dictatorship in Myanmar have done their job – a quarter of the population, compared to other states in the region extremely rich in minerals, live in poverty. Poor by world standards here, even those who extract from the depths of our precious civilization carbon black gold. Of course, we are not talking about employees of international corporations that produce oil on the shelf – these comrades in any country earn good money we are about people that rocked her in the outback with his own hands.
In order to become the owner of several oil wells in Myanmar have enough modest by international standards (but huge for people here) the sum of one thousand dollars. That’s how much it cost to local farmers the right to extract the black gold on the farm land. Provided that each of the wells almost hundred-meter depth to drill them yourself. Modern rigs digging bowels of Siberia, barefoot “oil tycoons” of makeshift village near the town of Mingli in central Myanmar not even dreamed. All necessary equipment, from the Boers and ending on a simple winch pumps, created their own hands. These designs look unreliable, even pity, but the locals have no idea that somewhere oil – a high-tech process. They simply fill clean water into the well and is then pumped out already mixed with black gold. The cleaning process is to attend to other people – every evening in camp attracts buyers of oil, and poured extracted from the canister into the canister in exchange for hard cash.
Once mastered this place only men – those who are pumping oil directly. Then after them from the surrounding villages were pulled his wife and children. Actually on location, a new village. Flimsy huts of its residents consist of bamboo flooring, a few poles as supports and rag canopy that protects from rain. But even without tropical storms working people have literally ankle deep in mud – water mixed with oil, constantly shed, soaked for years of production through land and turning it into a never-dried goo, ready to erupt from careless handling of fire. Unknown how many barrels of oil have spilled here. Peasant oil producers have long ceased to score even one that they get every day. It does not measure the barrel, but the money – comes out to about thirty dollars per day per owner of oil wells.
Roughly the same amount per day can count Bunshu family couple, from dawn to dusk toiling in the gold mines in the heart of neighboring Thailand. That has long been in the history of North America, Australia or Siberia, is a real Thai province of Phichit, distant from the tourist crowds on the azure coast of Phuket and haunts of vice Bangkok with its unexpected surprises . Just a few kilometers from a large and equipped with the latest technology gold mine being developed by an Australian company, is a tiny village Panompa, whose inhabitants, the former peasants, the last fifteen years, feeding off their land in new ways. Plow and shovel them replaced sledgehammer and hammer, and “harvest” are only a few “seeds”, which, however, allow these Thais earn their hard work much more compatriots engaged in agriculture.
Village all day stands almost empty, even small children take with them to the mine. They simply do not have anyone to leave when all the adult population is put forward in a tent camp nearby, broken into dotted with deep pits filled with groundwater, rocky plains, gleaming in the sunlight the color of gold. Bunshu Tinhtan that there are forces at Lupita sledgehammer hard rock until he fails to discourage heavy boulder. Then another and another, until the accumulated enough to fill a battered cart and move pieces of stone under the canopy – the sun fries the land without mercy. Sledge hammer replaces simple household: them we are hammering nails, Thai also splits rock into small stones. They go to the mill of the miners, which is the only mechanism miners arranged harder hammer. Its millstones crumble stones in the dust that was washed with water under pressure, and passing through the filter of a piece of old carpet, leaving behind only the cuttings with a dusting of golden sand. Next comes the most dangerous moment of the work: in the case enters the “alchemy”. A simple battered skillet auriferous gravel filled with mercury, which remains after evaporation of just a little gold dust. Safety at Bunshu Tinhtana simple: stand to the right of the deadly fumes and smoke hope for the magical power of their tattoos.
But a far greater danger of exposing themselves residents of a small village in eastern India Bokapahari. They literally earth burns underfoot: have to work in an abandoned coal mine authorities, where has long been raging underground fires, releasing emptiness in which at any moment can disappear hundreds of people. Coal mining, former peasants to become the bread and butter, here, of course, illegal. But want to eat it!
As well as oil producers from Myanmar residents Bokapahari actually moved to temporary housing near the quarry, which they call simply – New Colony. They do not have time for a long journey, after work and without this we have from morning till evening. And all without exception – even women here waving heavy crowbars and collected in baskets precious coal. His peasant miners buyers-sell, it is used for its own needs. The impression is that the coal dust and soot from these already swarthy people not to flush have never been.