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November 25 2012

Death metal: tin mining in Indonesia is wrecking the environment and claiming lives


Suge doesn’t have a mobile phone, so he uses a friend’s to tell us the news: he doesn’t want any visitors and he won’t talk. His boss has told him not to say anything. They’re neighbours and the mine’s just up the road and he needs this job – the job he hopes to go back to when he gets better, inshallah – because mining is good money. Everything is OK. Just please don’t come.

We leave at dawn. In the black morning sky the two-lane highway cuts west across the island towards Suge’s village, a cluster of wooden and cinderblock houses near mangroves so deep the palm trees look like drowned bonsais.

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