Ninja miners perform gold refining for black market

Worldwide strain on the global supply of gold combined with high prices for the commodity have resulted in "ninja miners" in Mongolia participating in precious metal recovery. These workers, who obtained their nickname by sporting large green pans on their backs, according to Reuters.

The general lack of wealth suffered by these herders provides a justification for them tolerating poor working conditions entailing hard labor and abuse, the media outlet reports.

While production of the previous metal reached 361 metric tons in 2011, a new record, global demand exceeds supply, according to the news source. Hong Kong supplied a total of 428 metric tons in 2011. Global asset value volatility helped to push the price of spot gold to a record of $1,920.30 an ounce in September. Even though the price of the metal has fallen substantially from that level since, the value of gold has been steadily expanding over the last decade or so.

The Guardian reported on the gold extraction activity that was happening in November 2011, stating that the robust precious metals recovery has put the Asian nation on "the most dramatic transformations in human history."