The Gold Smelting Factory of KyrgyzstanS

This gigantic tool is an ore-grinding machine at the Kumtore gold mine, the largest in Central Asia. The mine clings to the side of the Tien Shien mountain range, 4200 meters above sea level in Issyk Kul Province, Kyrgyzstan. Want to see the process of smelting gold up there in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan?

The Gold Smelting Factory of KyrgyzstanS

This picture isn't just gorgeous. It's also confirmation that mining technologies haven't changed much over the past two centuries, though the engineers' shiny Hazmat getups have. Images by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds via Getty.