In Jharkhand, India, thousands of adult and child miners risk their health and lives to search for Mica, the mineral that creates the shimmer and shine in makeup. From underground ghost mines and forest camps to dusty workshops, we examine the conflict and controversy behind the trade. Amid accusations of unsafe practices and child labour by the international press, we uncover another side to mica mining, and the ongoing struggles that its miners face. Produced for CNA's Undercover Asia strand.
Beyond the headlines, we look at poverty; marginalisation of tribal peoples; obscure legislation and a lack of oversight by labels. We were also concerned about greenwashing by the NGO Responsible Mica Initiative, a consortium of companies involved in the mining or use of mica. Despite positive reports of their initiatives, they did not respond to any queries and we found no evidence on the ground of their initiatives. Ultimately, we leave the viewer with some important thoughts to consider.