They sift for gold by dumping soil into a plastic bin with holes punched in the bottom, pour water in and shake the bin, allowing the wet soil to fall onto a chute made of boards and covered by plastic tarps and bath towels. After dumping a bunch of buckets into the contraption that empties into a muddy creek, the men wring the towels out into three large buckets and then pan whatever comes out.Another half-dozen such operations are nearby. Closer to Main Reef Road, women break up rocks and grind them between stones and concrete to reduce them to powder to be later panned for gold. The activity takes place in many other parts of South Africa, mostly around mines that were shuttered because of lack of productivity, and is fueled by rising gold prices that these days stand at around $1,700 per ounce.
Illegal Gold Mining In South Africa Brings Hope
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