Potosí, once one of the largest and richest cities in the world, is famed for the harsh conditions faced by its miners. For centuries, thousands of men have been risking their life and limbing deep in the bowels of Cerro Rico as they search for its last veins of silver, zinc and tin. It is estimated that as many as 8 million Andean Indians died because of the mining to serve the Spanish Crown. Even now, two miners die each week of silicosis in Potosí, in addition to deaths from other mining-related illnesses and accidents. The "mountain that eats men alive" has been written of many times, though perhaps not often enough read.