In the vicinity of the mines, one usually finds artisanal, or small scale miners hard at work. Digging the precious minerals out of the ground, and selling them to the local buyer in their respective village or town. It is very hard and extremely dangerous work, related deaths is not uncommon. These small scale miners have been mining this way for generations, long before the mining companies moved in, it is a way of life, and probably will continue for generations to come or until the resource is depleted.
In Guinea, West Africa, these small scale miners are known as Orpaillers, and is where I took these images.