Border Crossing

Asim Rafiqui for TIME

Trucks wait in line to transport goods across Pakistan's border with India

"Clear out! I'm going to blast!" A lanky man shouts from the top of a bamboo ladder, lighting the last stick of dynamite embedded in a rock wall. There's a brief silence, then the booms: one, two, three, four, five. When the sound of settling rocks ceases, the miners waiting in an outcropping nearby trickle into a valley of jagged, apricot-colored mountains. One of the men announces with flourish, "The end!"

In fact, it is just a beginning. Most mornings, crews like this one arrive with the sun at this mining site...

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