DEEP INSIDE THE EARTH | Brazil's new gold rush
Four centuries after the gold rush, Brazil is facing a new and bigger race on the metal of all time. New frontiers have been opened, operated by large foreign companies, using heavy machines and allowing men to reach depths never dreamed before.
In the central and north regions of the country, mines until then never touched became economically viable in face of higger prices in international markets.
Despite this, in the city of Crixás, Goiás State, central-west region, old mining techniques still survive at the Lavra village, just a few kilometers from the giant mines.
Once a 30.000 people city at the 80's, when gold flowed from the earth, Lavra seems a ghost town today. About 20 miners work deep inside unsafe hand dugged 60 meters (190 Ft) tunnels, handling old tools, explosives and finding just a few grams a month.
The number of miners in Brazil is practically impossible to measure accurately and directly proportional to the level of gold prodiction, which in turn depends on the price in domestic and international markets.
A survey by the National Department of Mineral Production has estimated a total of 300.000 workers concentrated mainly in the state of Pará.
DEEP INSIDE THE EARTH: Brasil's new gold rush | Video