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    Miners return to work on Indonesian volcano

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    ODN

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    Despite government orders to the contrary, people living on the slopes of Mount Merapi have returned to work mining the mineral rich volcanic sand.


    Government officials in the Yogyakarta Province of Indonesia have ordered a ban on mining due to volcano's recent eruptions.


    Cold lava and ash have been flowing from the volcano for over two weeks, killing 194 people and displacing another 320,000 who live on its slopes.


    The normally mineral rich substance, which is used as a raw building material, is even richer after an eruption.


    This, plus a need to return to work has miners disregarding any possible hazards.


    "Looking for sand is my livelihood for my family. Yes there are feelings of fear, but to meet my daily needs, there's nothing I can do," said Ambar, who like other Javanese go by one name is one of many sand miners digging at the Boyong river.


    Working in groups of five or six people, miners can produce six trucks of sand per day, they have to dodge police and authorities who ask them to stop.


    Ambar and others could earn as much as IDR 120,000 (just under £10) per day, per person.


    Although the intensity of eruptions was declining, officials said, the threat still looms with cold lava flooding a particularly persistent problem.


    Warnings remain on high alert and a 20 kilometre exclusion zone around the summit remains in place.