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Ali Hashem daily work

Mehdi Nazeri | HORMOZGAN, Iran

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Iran’s Hormuz Island has one of the world’s most famous red ocher mines, from which ocher is extracted, and a long history in the country’s mining industry. The island is located about 18 kilometers southeast of Bandar Abbas and occupies 42 square kilometers: covered by sedimentary rock and layers of volcanic material on its surface, with vast deposits of red ocher.Hormuz’s ocher is used in at least twenty different industrial products like paint, cosmetics, tiles and ceramics, mosaics, ocher and glaze pottery, and the production of industrial micronized powders, among others. Even the island’s native people used ocher for making a traditional kind of food named Souragh.But working conditions for laborers in Hormuz’s mines are very difficult, with one of the main issues being workplace conditions and a lack of safety facilities. The mine and factory belong to a private company that, according to its miners, does not pay enough to the workers.One miner, Ali Hashem, works at the Hormuz red ocher mine and moves bags containing soil to be loaded and shipped for processing.

Iran’s Hormuz Island has one of the world’s most famous red ocher mines, from which ocher is extracted, and a long history in the country’s mining industry. The island is located about 18 kilometers southeast of Bandar Abbas and occupies 42 square kilometers: covered by sedimentary rock and layers of volcanic material on its surface, with vast deposits of red ocher.Hormuz’s ocher is used in at least twenty different industrial products like paint, cosmetics, tiles and ceramics, mosaics, ocher and glaze pottery, and the production of industrial micronized powders, among others. Even the island’s native people used ocher for making a traditional kind of food named Souragh.But working conditions for laborers in Hormuz’s mines are very difficult, with one of the main issues being workplace conditions and a lack of safety facilities. The mine and factory belong to a private company that, according to its miners, does not pay enough to the workers.One miner, Ali Hashem, works at the Hormuz red ocher mine and moves bags containing soil to be loaded and shipped for processing. Hashem says he is paid $260 per month and that the “amount of work is not worth the low payment workers receive monthly.” “I am going to get married,” he says, “but my income is just too low working in this mine.” Like Hashem, ten other workers spend long hours in the mine, facing hazardous conditions. “If I was to raise a family, how would 260 dollars cover the expenses?” he asks

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