In the Madre de Dios region of Peru, there are an estimated 18,000 people who are mining for gold in the area. Authorities say that up to 97 percent, or 17,460 miners, are working there without being registered as a miner. In the region, up to 50 percent of all economic activity is due to the illegal gold mining industry.
The Madre de Dios region produces up to one-fifth of the gold produced annually by Peru.
Source: Hannah Stone, “Peru Cracks Down on Illegal Gold Mining,” InSight, March 16, 2012.