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Garimpeiros The Wildcat Gold Miners of the Amazon Rainforest

Arrival

Small-scale gold mines in the Tapajos River basin are located deep in the rainforest and accessible only by muddy roads and airstrips that don’t appear on official maps. The three members of our multidisciplinary team have been conducting research in the Amazon for years, but we only entered the mining region with former miners who showed us the way. We passed through a colorful, conflicted landscape of fire, forest, mud, and turquoise pools (formed when rain fills in abandoned gold pits) shaped by the search for the shiny specks of gold hidden deep in the soil.