Serra Pelada gold mine Brazil early 1980’s.
Because of the chaotic nature of the operation estimating the number of miners was difficult, but at least 100,000 people were thought to be present, making it one of the largest mines in the world.
The fever that gold creates??
Early in the history of the mine, the Brazilian military took over operations to prevent exploitation of the workers and conflict between miners and owners. Before the military takeover basic goods were sold for hugely inflated prices by the mine owners; water cost $3 a litre ($ 8.72 in 2017).
While the military government banned women and alcohol at the actual mine, the nearby town became a town of “stores and whores”. Thousands of underage girls prostituted themselves for gold flakes while around 60–80 unsolved murders occurred in the town every month.