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August 6, 2012 Permalink

Gold

The pursuit of gold medals has athletes and fans focused on the Olympic games in London, but the pursuit of gold is a worldwide obsession that extends far beyond the realm of sport. Investors and speculators drove the price of gold to dizzying heights a year ago as they sought refuge from volatile markets. Seeking gain in an uncertain recession, millions of people trade old jewelry as cash-for-gold businesses flourish. Throughout the ups and downs, gold extraction continues far from the glory of sports and the frenzy of markets. Gold is dredged, mined, and panned in operations large and small, often at great risk to miners. Processing gold with cyanide and other chemicals involves dangerous environmental hazards. What results is undeniably beautiful. Gathered here are images of people extracting, processing, refining, buying, selling, celebrating… all of them going for gold. -- Lane Turner (36 photos total)

A small-scale miner holds his gold that was melted together at a processing plant north of Ulan Bator on April 5, 2012. Mongolia is home to some of the world's biggest unexploited mineral deposits, and has become one of the hottest destinations for billions of dollars of mining investment. (David Gray/Reuters)
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