Indonesia: the sulfur's galley slaves

On the eastern part of the Indonesian island of Java, at 2148 meters high, the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano has the most active solfatara (sulfur deposit) in the world and a lake supposedly the most acid in the world.
Sulfur ore from this solfatara is operated by the inhabitants of the surrounding villages.

Coming out in the open air at a liquid state, sulfur ore is extracted with crowbars once cooled, then loaded into a basket system worn on the miners’ backs. Each loading weighs 70 to 100 kilograms.
After the ascent of the crater on a rocky path, miners descend three kilometers to the town of Paltuding (1850 meters high), where, after weighing the ore, they unload it in trucks. The ore is then conveyed in a plant where it is converted to the liquid state, and then spread on the ground to pack it in slabs.
Sulfur is used in many industrial applications (including sugar refining process and the strengthening of rubber - phenomenon of vulcanization).

Because of the effort and the very difficult conditions in the crater (fumes and acidity of the lake), sulfur carriers typically work 15 days and then spend the next 15 days with their families. Their average life expectancy is 45 years, against 69 years for men in Indonesia.

If the salary is higher than the Indonesian minimum (a miner can expect to earn the equivalent of one million rupees per month -80 euros-, against 673,000 rupees -53 euros- nationally), the working conditions are so harsh that financial advantage is not worth the hell these men are living in.