Salt is an essential element for the existence of life and a constant part of the everyday, yet the process of extracting it from the bowels of the earth to bring it into every home remains largely unacknowledged or unknown. The ‘White Gold’ series created by Italian photographer Simone Tramonte lifts the lid on the mining process and offers a beautiful glimpse into this hidden world where light and darkness intertwine. Passionate about social and anthropological issues, Tramonte has been focused on documentary photography since 2007.

Taken in the Racalmuto mine in Southern Sicily, the images show the otherworldly landscape of the mine, with a human element always present. Here, miners work tirelessly to bring out more than 500 tons of salt to the surface daily. The white gleam of the carved walls, the textured patterns and the spacious corridors create the feeling of being in a cathedral. In the refinery, under the bright glow of fluorescent lights, the white gold transforms from rocks and crystals into a familiar product. Released from the depths of the mountain, it follows a new path in a new, completely alien world compared to the place of its origin. Photo credits: Simone Tramonte.

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