In Burkina Faso, in the gold digging site of Bantara, Rasmané, 16 years old, descends more than 100 metres below ground in artisanal mines to extract gold. Anxious about accidents, Rasmané makes his way through this fierce, adult world in the hope of one day emancipating himself.
Like all teenagers of his age, Rasmané is playful and dreamy. His daily routine is organised around cooking, working in the gallery and going down to dig at a depth of more than 100 metres. His hope hangs on a rope that ascends indefinitely from the depths. He hopes to find gold with which to build his future. But the long days of labour are fruitless. As time and his trials go by, his body changes, his features become more pronounced. Inside, he gradually loses his childhood innocence.
When Rasmané finally obtains bags of ore, he transports them to the yaar, the city built from scratch on the edge of the mines. There he meets Missa and Dramane, 12 and 13 years old, two cart-driving friends in charge of transporting the ore from the gold miners. They accompany Rasmané through the various stages of the ore’s transformation, until the long-awaited moment when the gold is turned into money.