US$2.0M project aims to make panning for gold more profitable
Gold in Miches
El Seibo, Dominican Republic.- Submerged in holes next to streams, rivers and canyons, dozens of men pan for alluvial gold every day as has been done for over 500 years, as a source of income for many families of La Mina village and other towns near Miches, El Seibo province (east).
Gensy Diaz, 29, who works the holes that emanate gold with his mother, grandmother and uncle since a boy, affirms that it’s been his only income, with as much as RD$427,000 in one day, when he and three companions found 388 grams.
Veteran digger Marino Sanchez estimates that there are around 40 points in the province where as many as 300 men search for gold.
Haitian miner Felix Timó affirms that nuggets weighing up to 73 grams have been found while panning.
Each gram sells for RD$1,300 to middlemen, who also lend money to the miners when they have a run of bad luck, and have to resort to farm labor, construction and other work.
The activity’s economic importance has prompted the Mining Dept.’s interest, and has obtained Germany’s support with geological studies to locate gold veins.
the project by Germany’s Geosciences Institute aims to improve the sustainability of panning for gold, with plans to invest US$2.0 million in several countries over the next two years.