NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel journeyed to Mali where primitive gold pits, known as artisanal gold mines, are using child labor and a dangerous process involving mercury to find the precious metal that may end up in jewelry worn by Americans and people throughout the world.
The skyrocketing price of gold has led many people to sell and buy it, but some of those mining for the gold ore are taking great risk for just a few dollars. The children who help out at the mines are paid in bags of dirt.
Two days before NBC News arrived at the mine, a young man suffocated deep underground, according to the traditional leader of the mines. A miner who accompanied Engel on a dangerous trek 120 feet underground told him, "I don't care if I die or not, all I care about now is finding gold."