fbpx

Jason_Larkin_01

Daniel and the hunting dogs. Selby, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

Birds flock around a commercial rubbish dump on an old mine dump. Off Rosettenville Road, Booysens, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

The century-long gold mining industry in South Africa left behind billions of tons of toxic waste that is still part of the daily landscape for millions of South Africans. London-based photographer Jason Larkin examined this subject in Tales from the City of Gold, published by Kehrer VerlagAlmost half a million people live near and work in these waste dumps, which contain tailings from the previously booming mining industry and were never dealt with when the industry collapsed and gold mining ceased in the mid-1990s. And as the price of gold rises, many now re-sift through the dumps to find any remnants of gold. Despite their environmental danger, the mountainous dumps have become integrated into the very social and economic landscape of the city.

“Tales from the City of Gold,” published by Kehrer Verlag, is available here

Jason Larkin

Breaking down the dump. Krugersdorp, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

A small remaining pile of earth is all that’s left of a mine dump which has been reprocessed over the last two years. Mine dumps have an average of 0.5 grams of gold per ton, with most dumps averaging around two million tons of earth © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

A break during panning. Roodepoort, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

This unlined pit located between the mine dumps is the receptor pit for neutralized acid mine drainage from mining operations nearby. But even after neutralization, this ever-growing sludge-and-water mix has elevated levels of heavy metals like uranium, manganese, aluminum, lead, copper, and cobalt. Tweelopies Road, near Main Reef Road, Randfontein © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

A small remaining pile of earth is all that’s left of a mine dump which has been reprocessed over the last two years. Mine dumps have an average of 0.5 grams of gold per ton, with most dumps averaging around two million tons of earth © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

New affordable housing constructed in front of a large mine dump that is being reprocessed for traces of gold. Many commercial and residential developments of the last few decades are near, or on, old mining sites containing hazardous waste, causing concern amongst residents and environmental groups. Aalwyn Road, Riverlea, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

Fences installed on top of a mine dump in an attempt to keep sand from blowing off the dump into nearby communities. Off Soweto Highway and N1 Junction, Soweto
© Jason Larkin

Jason Larkin

A commuter train cuts through an old mine dump on the outskirts of the city where several electricity pylons are located. Off Erap Street, Booysens, Johannesburg © Jason Larkin

Discover More

Give a Print
Receive a Print
Receive a print

Stay updated with our weekly newsletter!

Expert advice from photo industry professionals every Friday + get our guide to mastering Instagram (for FREE)!

Thanks for signing up to the Feature Shoot newsletter!