Education Resource

Larry C. Price Reports on Small-scale Gold Mining

Photojournalist Larry C. Price traveled to the Philippines and Indonesia to document the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining in Southeast Asia.

Price found the use of mercury widespread with few precautionary measures on the part of miners to avoid polluting groundwater and local watersheds in the gold mining regions of the two countries.

Mercury can cause a host of heath problems including neurological damage and birth defects.

Safer methods exist to process gold ore, but change is slow and often governments and NGOs are met with resistance from mining officials who fear change will hurt profits.