Illegal mining is a story I’m currently working on. It is a story I decided upon a few years ago while working on a commissioned job in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. The location was a disused gold mine, with old gold-processing plants being the featured structures. Amongst these massive concrete structures I found young migrants from neighbouring countries, working the earth. Intrigued, I asked one young man what he was doing.
PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVID BLOOMER
WORDS: DAVID BLOOMER
This project is also an observation of the distribution of wealth within South African over the decades, particularly in the mining sector. How the mining companies have worked the earth, moved on as the ground became depleted of wealth, and how the scavengers then emerge, to take the left-overs, tentatively watching over their shoulders as security forces loom in the background. Illegal mining in South Africa Is a multi-billion dollar industry with an estimated 30 000-strong workforce spread over roughly 6000 defunct gold, diamond, chrome and platinum mines. My story focuses on the illegal miners working the surface and underground in the massive network of tunnels underneath Johannesburg.