Ninja or artisan gold miners live in ger villages and use placer techniques to find gold in river valleys in Mongolia. It’s estimated that there are 300,000 ninjas illegally mining for gold. Mongolia’s economy is dependent on mining, but ninja miners are threatening pristine parts of Mongolia. Because of the high price of gold and the rising poverty in the cities, entire families are taking up this illegal, dangerous trade. Many miners are using mercury in their gers to extract the gold dust from soil.