Potosi Mine: One of the world’s most dangerous mine in pictures [images]

The Potosi mine in Bolivia is one of the world's most dangerous, here Australian Mining takes you through a pictorial tour of the operation.

On the bus to the mine, dynamite is freely available.

Unlike most modern mines around the world, Potosi still have very little mechanisation in its operations.

Here miners put the one ton ore trucks back on the rails by hand after a small derailment.

Here you can see the telltale bulge of coca leaves in the miners' mouths. They chew the leaves to give them the energy to work the long hours, absorbs some of the airborne toxins, and suppresses their appetite.

The operations, and the safety levels are basic, with wooden props hastily constructed to hold the roof.

According to local superstition the devil lives in the mine, and to protect themselves while working underground the miners leave gifts of cigarettes, coca leave, beer, and llama blood to small statues of the devil located near the 200 or so entrances to the mine.

Safety is not exactly paramount, as the guide lights dynamite (in the middle of the tour group) with a cigarette. Wonder how large those blast exclusions zone are here…..

Results of the guide's blasting technique. Not much breakage, but a good chance of flyrock.

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