Photographer from Cape Town Dillon Marsh showed the consequences of mining precious minerals: gold, platinum, copper, and diamonds. This is how the CGI series For What It’s Worth was born: computer-generated balls represent the amount of material extracted from the now-abandoned mines. Former mines look like scars on the surface of the Earth. Visual juxtapositions are blaming: the pursuit of profit takes precedence over the health of the planet.
Dillon Marsh turned to CGI technology, Computer-Generated Imagery: images are made using computer graphics. It all started with the fact that the photographer became interested in copper mines in the vicinity of the South African city of Springbok. The first of these mines was created in 1852 when mining was carried out manually. Copper ore was transported in livestock wagons to the coast for 140 kilometers, from there it was sent for processing to England.
“My feelings constantly fluctuated between admiration for what had been achieved and sadness at what it cost,” says Marsh. 4.1 million tons of copper came from the steep crevice of the Palabora mine, 335 million troy ounces of gold from the Free State deposit. The 7.6 million carats of diamonds recovered from Koffifontein are so tiny compared to the gaping hole needed to extract them that they are barely visible without magnification. Marsh is considering continuing the For What It’s Worth project in mines in other parts of the world.