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Minas Gerais, Brazil: Diamantina

Brazil's Diamantina region in north-central Minas Gerais was a major source for gold and diamonds in the early 1700s, when the Portuguese controlled the region. Artisianal mining was conducted by African slave labor, sifting through secondary deposits of river-bank gravels and alluvium along the rio Jequitinhonha, north-west of the town of Diamantina (formerly Tejuco).

This satellite shot shows the rio Jequitinhonha as it snakes south towards Diamantina at the bottom. In the north, the river traverses the steep canyons of the the Espinhaço Mountains.

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