After the article “Illegal miners dig tunnel under Valley of Love” posted on Tuoi Tre on May 17, mineral engineer Nguyen Van Tinh has sent us a series of photos that he shot while following tin miners to a drilled tunnel in a small town in Lac Duong district, 30 kilometers away from Da Lat city center.
“During a business trip to Da Lat central highlands city, I tried to make friend with some tin miners in the town. I told them I wanted to carry out a research into tin resources so they allowed me to go with them,” Tinh said.
According to the engineer, tin mining has been a part of life in the town as most residents exploit tin resources inside drilled tunnels right beneath pine forests for money.
At a slope named Tình (Love) leading to two mountains Khôn (Wise) and Cao (Tall), there are a lot of drilled wells including a 30m deep. The villagers climbed down the wells to dig tunnels.
Tin mining not only poses threats to their lives but also destroys pine forests, Tinh said.
From the bottom of an 8m deep well, a man is trying to dig a tunnel.
Miners split mountains and pump water up to go panning for tin.
A canvas is set up above a well to shelter miners inside from the rain.
Two young men in this photo dig earth in a tunnel and transport the soil to the bottom of the well.
Tin-containing soil is put into plastic bags that are later brought onto the surface by a pulley.
A tunnel mouth is opened in the middle of a mountain. The pine trees above are ‘dying’.
Many local children quit class to go panning for tin with their parents.