Philippines: Dying For Gold (Al – May 2019)

We investigate why people are risking their lives in an illegal gold industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the Philippines, an illegal gold trade is booming. But not everyone is reaping large profits.

Investors desperate to cash in on a market worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year are enticing poor villagers to risk their lives by diving deep below the surface of muddy mangroves in search of gold.

The nuggets they find may eventually fetch a high price, but miners often receive a pittance and there is little safeguard to protect them.

“We put our lives at risk for this job,” says Jerry, a miner in Paracale, known as Gold Town. While financiers make huge profits, those at the bottom of the chain suffer health problems like mercury poisoning and tuberculosis.

Jerry has been working in illegal gold mines for the past 20 years, but hasn’t been able to work for the past three months.

For the rest of this article and a 25 minute documentary: