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Mr. Plein, the miner at Nieuw KoffieKamp, is a thin man with a scraggly beard and dreadlocks pulled back behind his head. He said the amount his crew earns depends on how much gold they find and how much fuel they use trying to find it — they might gross $40,000 before paying for the equipment rental and dividing the proceeds.

One of the biggest challenges, he said, is finding a place to search amid fierce competition and competing claims on land.

“It’s hard,” said Mr. Plein, a Maroon who grew up in the town of dirt streets and small wooden homes. “But I’m used to it.”