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A miner sprays water using a hydraulic mining system at an open gold-mine pit near the small town of Nieuw Koffiekamp on the edge of the Suriname's rain forest. Thanks to record gold prices, hundreds of small-scale mining operations are proliferating along the northeastern shoulder of South America, tearing up trees and poisoning creeks with mercury. (Associated Press)

A miner sprays water using a hydraulic mining system at an open gold-mine pit near the small town of Nieuw Koffiekamp on the edge of the Suriname's rain forest. Thanks to record gold prices, hundreds of small-scale mining operations are proliferating along the northeastern shoulder of South America, tearing up trees and poisoning creeks with mercury. (Associated Press)

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