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Tungsten's Tainted Trail

By Mike Smith - 2013-08-08T15:33:40Z

Photograph by Carlos Villalon/Bloomberg Markets

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A Mission for Metal 

Lopez holds wolframite, a rock that contains tungsten, which he dug out of the mud at the FARC's mine in the jungle. He says he hauled sacks of the ore two hours down a slippery, muddy path through the jungle to river landing. There, FARC mine overseers sold the tungsten ore to metals traders. The Tiger Hill mine can produce 15 metric tons of wolframite in a week.