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Story Publication logo January 28, 2014

Diving into the Philippines' Dangerous Underwater Mines


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Tiny children and teens toil in the gold mines of the Philippines and Indonesia. A risky, often...

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A compressor miner sinks below the muddy water of Mambulao Bay to begin a dive for ore that can last for hours. Their job is to fill bucket after bucket with soil for a fellow miner to haul to the surface. Image by Larry C. Price. Philippines, 2013.

Divers in the Philippines disappear into water as opaque as chocolate milk and blindly dig for hours in search of gold trapped in muddy sediment. It is a risky business: As the miners go deeper, underwater tunnels could collapse or the jury-rigged compressor that provides air may fail. Larry Price and Hari Sreenivasan document the dangerous venture undertaken by adults and children.

(Editor's Note: "Hazardous Work: Diving into the Philippines' Dangerous Underwater Mines," produced by Larry C. Price in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, won a 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast.)






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