Gold production around the world is at an all time high, with market prices reaching never before held levels of over $1500 per ounce. Many attribute this rise to the global economic recession, which has resulted in a slew of new companies and independent operators.  While large multinational corporations are responsible for most mining around the globe, hundreds of thousands of individuals mine gold the old-fashioned way, digging deep underground with shovels and pickaxes to carry bags of gold-veined rock to the surface by hand. Although small-scale mining can provide economic opportunities for communities with few employment alternatives, the work is dangerous, and governments and big mining corporations often view these workers as illegal trespassers.