Today Matthew Hart, author of Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal speaks to Terry Gross about the economic, environmental, and ethical implications of the commodification of GOLD.
He begins his investigation by visiting the Mponeng gold mine outside of Johannesburg in South Africa. While it is not the largest or deepest mine in the world, it is the deepest man made hole on earth:
It’s about 2.5 miles deep and it is, in fact, a hellish place to work. But I’ll give you a couple of facts:
… If you were standing at the bottom of that mine and looking towards the top, you would have towering above you a swath of ground and tunnels and shoots … about the size of Manhattan, taken from Midtown to the top of Central Park. … And every morning 4,000 men piled into it and go down into, many of them, to the very deepest levels to work.
image of Mponeng mine from the New York Times