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South African photographer Dillon Marsh, continues with his photo project “For What It’s Worth” that attempts to quantify mining by visualizing just how much metal a mine can produce using computer generated imagery and actual photos of the mines. Marsh began his project by taking South African copper mines as his subject. Later he started photographing gold mines and recently diamond mines, all located in his home country. Then using data about extraction rates, Marsh calculated the size of a single, solid orb to represent the amount of metal that had been mined in total. Then using a rendering engine and some quick adjustments for scale, Marsh inserted each orb into the landscape. For diamond mines, Marsh shaped the extracted diamonds into a single massive jewel. The immense scale of these open pit mines and the relatively low yield associated with diamond mining make for a dramatic visual comparison.

Central Rand Goldfield

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The main gold reef of the Witwatersrand Basin was discovered for the first time on the Langlaagte farm in 1886. This farm and the surrounding region later became known as the Central Rand Goldfield and since the beginning of operations an estimated 250.5 million ounces has been produced.

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