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Lucas Oleniuk : 2011

Lucas Oleniuk - Staff Photographer                                                                                                          @LucasOleniuk

Miners stand above the infamous Bisie cassiterite deposit in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.  Minerals from the remote deposit have financed a number of armed groups and are considered conflict minerals.

Thirty-year-old cresseur Jacques Preston rests inside the opening of a post-and-beam supported mine shaft at the Bisie cassiterite deposit.  Miners work in cresseur's mine tunnels, some deep as 100m, in 24-hour shifts they are paid 1,300 Congolese francs, $1.40, for 1Kg of cassiterite.

The mining concessions are currently secured by Congolese national mining guards.  Armed groups are still active in the area but have given up full control of the Bisie mine.

Small businesses have emerged in and around the Bisie mine including a payphone service that seldom works.

Cresseurs emerge from an all-night shift of exploiting a cassiterite deposit that lays at the end of a 100 meter tunnel at the Bisie mine.

A miner sifts cassiterite in the town of Bisie.   The mineral is extracted from a deposit in the nearby Mount Mpama, a 45 minute walk from the town.  The cassiterite will be carried out to Njingala, the nearest trading town, in 50 kilogram bags.  It will take a porter two days to make the journey.  It will then be flown to Goma where it is purchased, illegally, by Chinese buyers.

Thousands of protestors collected at the Salmanaya Hospital in Manama after Bahraini security forces clashed with protestors in a forced evacuation of the Pearl roundabout.  Three protestors were killed and more than 50 others sustained serious injuries.

Shiite anti-regime demonstrators drew fire from Bahraini security forces near Manama when they tried to re-enter the Pearl roundabout days after they were forcibly evacuated from the rallying point.  A number of the men were seriously injured and at least one person was killed after he was shot in the head with a large caliber bullet.  The protestors attempted to deliver flowers to the soldiers as a show of peace. Read the story behind this picture.

A protestor, unconscious and not breathing, was rushed away from Bahraini security forces after being shot in the head moments earlier.  He later died in hospital.

A young boy holds a picture of Fadel Salman Matrook during Fadel's burial in Manama, Bahrain.  Fadel was shot to death by government security forces carrying shotguns during a peaceful protest. 

Ahmed Essa Abdulhassan wept in the arms of friends after witnessing the body of his father, Essa, who was killed by Bahraini security forces earlier that morning.Hundreds of protestors joined injured family and friends at the Salmanaya Hospital in Manama after Bahraini security forces clashed with unarmed protestors in the Pearl roundabout and forced an evacuation.

Thousands of demonstrators came to support the friends and family of Mahmood Makki Abo Takki.  Mahmood was killed during the Pearl Square uprising in Bahrain two nights ago.

Thousands of demonstrators came to support the friends and family of Ali Ahmed Almomen including woman who cried unfder anti-government grafitti and the image of jailed Shiite cleric Sheikh Mohammed Habib al-Moqdad.

Two women crossed police barricades to deliver flowers to Bahraini riot police.  The group of demonstrators eventually overtook police barricades Saturday afternoon to regain control of the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain.  The two women initiated the move.

Bahraini protestors celebrated after overtaking police barricades Saturday afternoon to regain control of the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, Bahrain.

More than 50,000 pro-government supporters rallied outside of the Sunni Al Fateh mosque in Manama, Bahrain as the Pearl roundabout remained filled with anti-government demonstrators.

Demonstrators celebrated inside the Pearl roundabout Sunday, February 23, 2011 after the Bahraini government released more than 50 political prisoners in a concession to the protestors demands.  After their release the prisoners were immediately transported to the Pearl roundabout and were hoisted by the jubilent crowd.

Children of Bodom fans enjoyed the live performance of the band at the Heavy TO festival in Toronto's Downsview Park.

Motörhead fans at the Heavy TO festival in Downsview Park.

Hundreds of Jordanians continued top protest in downtown Amman pledging solidarity with Egypt.  The group is rallying for reform in the new Jordanian government.  Rising prices of essentials in the country have been a contentious issue that has to led to public outrage.

Hundreds of pallaqueras, female gold scavengers, scour a fresh load of waste rock from a nearby gold mine in La Rinconada.  The mining cooperatives allow the pallaqueras to pick through the unwanted stone for one hour each morning starting at 6:30 am.  The women will pick away at prospective stones in hope of finding a speck of gold.
With a population of over 50,000, La Rinconada is now the highest inhabited settlement on earth at an alttitude of 5,200 metres.

Pallaqueras pack waste rock into gunny sacks before hauling it away for processing.  Gold will be extracted from the stone with mercury after it is crushed fine.

Miners pass each other during a shift change at the mouth of a mineshaft in La Rinconada.  The gold lies beneath a glacier.

A miner rests 200m inside of a La Rinconada mineshaft 5,500m above sea level.  Miners in this concession operate on the cachorreo payment system.  Depending on production levels the miners will be able to exploit the mine for one or two days per month.  The gold that they find during those two days will be their only payment.

A pallaquera scavenges waste rock in search of a sliver of gold outside of the Peruvian town of La Rinconada at an altitude of 5,200m.  The Sleeping Beauty glacier stands at her back.

Senator Edouard Mwangachuchu's Coltan mining operation resembles a sink hole against the backdrop of Congolese farms in Masisi territory, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Artisanal miners work at extracting coltan from the runoff in a valley below Senator Edouard Mwangachuchu's mine.

A fisherman prepares his boat on Mazan River outside the tiny village of Libertad in early morning light.  International malaria researchers are studying mosquitos in the area in an attempt to eradicate the parasite.

A malaria researcher attempts to trap female Anopheles mosquitos using the human landing catch method beside a private residence outside the remote settlement of Libertad, Peru in the Amazon basin.  The photograph was created using a 30 second exposure and a torch.

Angel Gabriel, 9 (front), and his brother Kengi Michel, 11, both tested positive for Plasmodium vivax in October of 2011.  They sleep together under a mosquito net in a hut a few feet away from the bank of the Mazan River in the tiny village of Libertad where malaria is a constant problem.











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Hello Lucas: You are afforded great opportunities for dramatic photographic story telling with these assignments. It is a pleasure to see that you don’t miss the possibilities. Terrific documentary work. Have another great year. Regards,PeteR

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