Published on: 2/13/2021

NASA Reveals very special Picture Of 'Gold Rivers' In Peruvian Amazon

User Image Web Editor Last updated on: 2/13/2021, Permalink

In the new extraordinary photos revealed by NASA, the Peruvian Amazon can be seen glittering like gold. The aerial view shots taken aboard the International Space Station, are simply stunning.

While that glow is just sunlight reflecting off hundreds of pits of muddy water, there is plenty of gold in them. Each glistening pool is a gold-prospecting pit, according to NASA's Earth Observatory website, believed to have been dug by unlicensed miners.

Amazon Gold Deposits

"Each pit is surrounded by de-vegetated areas of muddy soil," Justin Wilkinson, a grant specialist at Texas State University, wrote for Earth Observatory. "These deforested tracts follow the courses of ancient rivers that deposited sediments, including gold." Peru's Madre de Dios state, shown in this picture, is home to a huge unregulated industry with thousands of miners trying to make a living. 
NASA
As many as 30,000 small-scale miners (working outside of government regulations) prospect illegally in the area, tearing up the rainforest with excavators and trucks in order to unearth the gold underneath.  
Illegal mining can be a boon to impoverished workers in Madre de Dios, but a detriment to the Amazon. According to a 2011 study in the journal PLOS One, gold mining is the single greatest cause of deforestation in the region.
BCCL

While the price of gold is steadily increasing, people from local communities that are often deprived see an opportunity to make a living from mining. Another part of Peru, La Pampa was the site of a huge gold rush that lasted close to a decade. It was finally halted by the government in 2019 when around 5,000 miners were expelled.


2/13/2021 | 81 | Permalink