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A very young girl breaks up rock at an abandoned state-owned copper mine in the city of Kipushi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 10, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A miner at the entrance of cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A minor makes his way down the first part of 30 metre mine shaft at a cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A miner clears an opening to a shaft at a cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A miner makes his way out of a shaft at a cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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An empty artisanal cobalt mine after miners stopped work for the day just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 11, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Mbuyi Kazadi, with her young child on her back, shovels rock into a rock-sorting screen held by her 13-year-old at an abandoned state-owned copper mine in the city of Kipushi in the Democratic Republic of Congo,May 10, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Miners slop through the mud looking for fine granular copper at an old mine in the of city Kipushi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 10, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Miners clear an opening to a shaft at a cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Miners sort their cobalt before being graded at a mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Miners slop through the mud looking for fine granular copper at an old copper mine in the village of Kawama near the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 8, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Miners smoke marijuana before heading down a 30 metre shaft at a cobalt mine just outside the city Likasi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A miner breaks rock by hand looking for copper at an old copper mine in the village of Kawama near the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, May 8, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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