Image 1 of 1
Abdul Aziz (right), 13 years old and in Grade five, working in an informal gold processing facility where ore from illegal 'galamsey' mines is brought. The ore is crushed into powder, mixed into a muddy slurry and then washed down a sluice lined with carpet fabric. The mud washes away, but some of the gold particles are trapped in the carpet, about 30%, according to the operator of the facility. The carpets are rinsed in a basin, and the gold dust removed from the basin by panning. The gold dust will later be mixed with mercury and heated in a highly toxic process to leave a gold amalgam. The mud containing the remaining 70% of the gold is simply piled up, until it is bought by someone woth the ability to process it chemically.