Friday, March 18, 2011

Risk Of Illegal Gold Mining Dramatized By Accident

Typically, illegal - or artisanal - gold mining is done at the surface. There are hazards, but they're associated with chemical used in the refining as well as physical strain from the backbreaking work. However, some illegal mining is done underground. The risk of doing so is illustrated by an accident in Borneo, where an illegal miner was buried alive in an 80-foot shaft:
[A] local man was buried alive 80 feet underground after a makeshift mine shaft collapsed late Wednesday night.

The victim, a labourer, was identified by police as Chai Say Chong, 28, of Paku.

The incident happened around 11.30pm when Chai and several friends made their way to Gunung Tabai in Taiton allegedly to mine for gold illegally.

It was believed to have been the first time Chai had gone to the site, which according to police was one of the more ‘popular’ locations in the district among illegal miners....

I should note for the record that illegal mining practices are blamed when an accident involving illegal mining takes place; when accidents happen with legal mines, more specific causes are sought out. But, there's a common-sensical reason for blaming the illegality. Living under the shadow of the law, as Prohibition demonstrated, leads to hastier practices because one eye is on the watch for the cops. That's part of life in the black market.

1 comment:

  1. Mining is a dangerous business and even more dangerous when it is done illegally. Safety precautions and insurances are skipped when done illegally. I hope that illegal mining is stopped. It is not only dangerous for the community but also for the environment as well.