In 1979, Genésio Ferreira da Silva, a farmer in the remote interior of Brazil, discovered a nugget of gold on his property and hired a geologist to see whether there was more to find. Within days, word had spread and a gold rush had begun. After five weeks, 10,000 speculators were scratching through the soil and finding nuggets as large as 13 pounds.
Mine surveyors consult a map of plots in the mine.
Mine surveyors measure off a single plot of two meters by three meters.
Garimpeiros dig ore from a plot at the bottom of the mine.
Workers carry out 40-pound bags of ore from the mine.
Garimpeiros adjust a water pump.
A paymaster distributes wages to garimpeiros, who are paid two to three U.S. dollars a day.