Afghanistan is a mountainous country known to have dense deposits of untapped minerals. Coal is one such resource that’s used as an essential fuel for the production of electricity.

The nation’s coal mining industry lacks infrastructure and security, and as a result thousands of off-the-books mines with extremely dangerous working conditions exist. Child labor, illnesses, and fatalities caused by safety hazards and a lack of regulations are commonalities amongst many of Afghanistan’s coal mines. 

The images below document a series of coal workers in the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan as they load up coal trucks to be sent to Pakistan. These workers shovel coal all day long for the equivalent of $4 USD salary per day.