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Inside Kazakhstan's Altyntau Gold Mine

As the price of gold dropped to its lowest point in three years this week, the sustainability of the gold-mining industry is under debate. Kazakhstan, where gold production has increased rapidly in the past decade, is among the countries to feel the impact of the price fluctuation. Reuters photographer Andrey Lunin filed these photos from the Altyntau gold mine and extraction plant outside the town of Kokshetau in northern Kazakhstan. (8 PHOTOS)

A worker wearing a heatproof suit pours molten gold in a workshop of the Altyntau extraction plant.
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A worker wearing a heatproof suit pours molten gold in a workshop of the Altyntau extraction plant.

A worker takes a gold alloy bar out of its mold.
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A worker takes a gold alloy bar out of its mold.

A newly solid gold alloy bar comes out of the mold.
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A newly solid gold alloy bar comes out of the mold.

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 An armed guard stands by as gold alloy bars are put on display.
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 An armed guard stands by as gold alloy bars are put on display.

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Near the extraction plant, trucks drive along a road at the Altyntau open pit gold mine.
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Near the extraction plant, trucks drive along a road at the Altyntau open pit gold mine.

Controlled explosions raise dust at the open pit gold mine.
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Controlled explosions raise dust at the open pit gold mine.

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