Photographer's Note

With this picture, I would like to commemorate the 16 miners who died these last two days during the ongoing fights between private and public sector miners in Huanuni.
To view the city of Huanuni check this previous post
The picture itself is not from Huanuni but from Potosi back in 1984.

This miner is not working for a private nor for a public company but for a so-called cooperative (in fact most often working as a "peon" for his boss).
He WAS working because when I took this picture, though he was about fourty he had already retired because of silicosis (lungs filled with silica dust)

Considering that the life expectation of small scale miners was around 35... needless to say this guy probably died a while ago.

Miners in Huanuni are luckier because they use mechanisation, whereas you see here the reality of mining tin with limited tools.
It takes about an hour to bore a hole in this way... and when you're finished you will have to place a dynamite stick with the shortest possible fuse in order to spare some money !
If you're lucky some material will fall off and you will have a few grams of tin ore to bring to the concentration plant.
Of course you have no access to analytical chemistry... meaning that when you try to sell your tin concentrate ... the only guy who knows what's in it is the buyer.
This is life!
Is this really life !
Well... life in the country of the Devil's metal (as tin is called there)

Scanned ektachrome slide @ 2800 dpi.
Added contrast and some lightness (in PSP7)
Denoised with NeatImage
Bicubic resampling, framing, etc (in PSP7)

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Photo Information
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Additional Photos by Eric PIRARD (cyrrhus) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 414 W: 26 N: 578] (2878)
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