Recent scientific study has revealed a direct link between the over-exploitation of mineral resources and earthquakes. Other activities such as dam filling, gas extraction and heavy construction also contribute to earthquake frequency and magnitude.
In the upper part of the collage I have combined photos of real earthquake damage from diverse locations like Japan, U.S.A. and Romania with my own “mother-of-all-earthquakes” (which would measure around 18.4 on the Richter scale!) If you look really closely you can even see a statue of Saddam Hussein next to a falling Mosque in Baghdad.
In the lower part of the collage one can find around 50 miners busy digging away at the very foundations of our so-called civilization. The developed world continues to exploit the mineral wealth of under-developed countries to such an extent that they remain amongst the poorest in the world. An Indonesian miner on the left is trying to negotiate a $25 deal for a rather large diamond with the mine owners just above. But as his foot is trapped in the cutting machine below, they prefer waiting for his inevitable demise to avoid having to pay anything at all. Business is business as they say!
In the middle ground on the left, a dark tunnel appears to have light at its end, but in this case it’s death at the end of the tunnel.
To the right, a startled caver panics and gets stuck in a hole as he comes across a giant rat, who in turn panics in shock at seeing all these intruders.
On the right, several mining teams have simultaneously discovered the largest emerald in the world; much to the dismay of a Bolivian miner left only with a cheek full of coca leaves. An inexperienced mining student has been given the task of extracting this gem, but he buckles under pressure showering splinters of emerald in all directions and sending it crashing to the floor on top of an unsuspecting geologist. An expert sent in to rescue him has found the emerald more worthy of saving, but he hasn’t noticed a large and deadly spider on which he has just put his hand.
In the lower left part of the collage, a miner has tried to steal gold nuggets by hiding them in his shorts, but a roof collapse has shaken them out only for them to be grabbed by another miner also struggling to keep the roof up. His last words: “We’re dead rich!”