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Miner buying dynamite and ammonium nitrate (ANFO)

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Bolivian miner buying Dynamite sticks, fuses, blasting caps and Ammonium Nitrate mix at a grocery store in the mining town of Potosi (Bolivia). A stick of dynamite like this one costs about $2, and the fuse and blasting cap are less than $2. Dynamite is used everyday in local mines, and anyone can buy it about everywhere in Bolivia. Grocery stores in mining regions also sells pink bags of premixed ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate with Fuel Oil), an explosive that is cheaper and more powerful than dynamite, but hard to detonate. Dynamite is used to trigger the blast of the Ammonium Nitrate mix. Ammonium Nitrate (a common fertilizer) was used to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building. Potosi is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal 4,090 metres and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint. Potosi lies at the foot of the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain"), a mountain popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver ore. The Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosi historical importance, since it was the major supply of silver for Spain during the period of the New World Spanish Empire. Even though the richest silver mines are now depleted, the Cerro Rico mountain is still being be mined for silver and other metals. The mines are generally small cooperatives where most of the mining is done by hand, with very few machines or equipment. The miners have a short life expectancy of about 40 years due to accidents and silicosis (lung disease caused by breathing rock dust). Other keywords: Potosí, Human interest, economy, people, one man, worker, miner, mining supplies, flash lights, flashlights, beer bottles, safety helmet, burning fuse, safety fuse, head lamp, Bolivian culture, occupation, Quechua, Silver mines, poor working conditions, danger, risk.
Miner buying dynamite and ammonium nitrate (ANFO) : News Photo
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March 02, 2010
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