Daily Archives: December 8, 2012

Sunrise at an abandoned kaolin mining site

a bright morning at the abandoned mining site

a bright morning at the abandoned mining site

The abandoned kaolin mining site is known as Danau Kaolin or the Kaolin Lake now. It was a real kaolin mining site in the past. Kaolin, or also known as china clay, is a kind of mineral in the form of white clay which is used in making ceramics as well as widely used in paper, rubber, paint, cosmetics, and many other products industries. It is said that the name kaolin was derived from Gaoling, a village in Jiangxi Province, China, which is known for its good quality ceramics that uses kaolin as one of its main component up till now.

Belitong is also known to have a good quality of Kaolin, so people came to mine the minerals. At that time, the kaolin mining in Belitong gave the local people many job opportunities. The miners dug a very big hole to get the kaolin and left the waste in the surrounding area of the open pit which also pollutes the nearby rivers.

Nowadays, when the deposits have already decreased, many of the pits are abandoned. The hole they dug, by the time were filled by water, mostly from the rain and turned the pit into a big pond. The water in the pit, which has also mixed with any minerals at the bottom of the pond, looks strikingly blue. The whitish surroundings combined with the bright blue colored man-made lake, make the place so photogenic. One of the biggest kaolin lake, and also the easiest to reach, is located just outside of Tanjong Pandan.

blue water surrounded by whitish clay pile

blue water surrounded by whitish clay pile

When visiting the place, bear in mind that although the place is undeniable beautiful, it is also shows us the environmental damage caused by uncontrolled mining activity without any attempts to rehabilitate the site after all the deposits gone. Hopefully the damage will not cause any bigger environmental problem in the future, especially for the people who live nearby.

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