Children in a house that belonged to the family of a Russian geologist. Only a few houses were left almost untouched and they are nows used as summer homes by families who come to Mardai looking for scrap metal and concrete blocks. Most of the Mardai houses were ransacked and disassembled by locals in the end of 1990s. In the late 1970s, Soviet geologists discovered large uranium deposits near the Mardai River in Dornod Province of Eastern Mongolia. A secret agreement established a mine and associated town, unmarked on any map, which operated between 1988 and 1998. Eventually the Russian miners and their families went home and the city’s infrastructure was left to slowly decay. Mongolians took advantage of the valuable metals found in the ruins. These were sold to the Chinese leaving behind dangerously unstable structures. Furthermore, untreated radioactive waste litters the area and locals suspect that this is responsible for increasing numbers of deformed livestock and high rates of cancer related deaths that are anecdotally reported in the area.