The steel muscles of this giant pumped blood, or rather tin, throughout Perak.
Discover the history of the last mine-ship in Malaysia.
I love places with history. If you like it too I invite you for a trip to the last tin dredge, which was the only one that survived the great tin crash.
To learn more about its history we went to Batu Gajah, a town about 40 km away from Ipoh.
Today, even though the monster has retired, it still tells a story from almost a hundred years ago. The history of the region, people and big money.
Perak is one of 13 states in Malaysia, which owes its development to huge reserves of tin.
Thanks to this, it became an ideal place for Chinese emigrants, who settled here attracted by the chance to earn some money.
Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5 (TT5), which is the name of the ship, was one of six floating tin mines. That is why it has become such an important part of this area.
Now the ship is open for tourists and many tours are coming here to better know the whole history.
HISTORY AND FACTS
This huge floating mine was built in 1938, in England, from where it was sent to Malaysia, in parts.
Then it was put together into one impressive unit. Because of the enormous size the transport in "one piece" was not possible!
The ship weight 4.500 tonsand the dimensions of the pontoon on which it drifted were 75 meters long and 35 meters wide.
TT5 has been on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 44 years..
All the people who lived in the surrounding villages knew about it because the noise that he made at work was heard within a distance of 15 kilometres!
To ensure effective metal extraction, the machine is equipped with 128 two-tonne baskets for taking minerals from the bottom of the tank.
Controlled by the winch, a system of steel ropes and chains, they dug the bottom up to a depth of 33 metres.
It was hard work not only for the machine, but also for the crew that worked on it. To give them the strength to act, they were served 3 meals a day in the canteen. It was something unusual at that time.
In 1982,the TT5 went on a well-deserved rest.
At that time the Malaysian tin industry suddenly collapsed. Tin deposits started to melt, the price of the metal decreased and the operating costs of its production remained very high.
The International Tin Council has collapsed and Malaysia has closed 30% of its tin mines. This means that 5,000 people lose their jobs.
That's how the story of Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5, the last of the great mine-ships, has ended
9th Km, Jalan Tanjung Tualang,
31000, Batu Gajah, Perak.
Ticket price is about RM20 / 5$ USD.
Here you can learn more about its history and see the interior of the ship, which gave work to many people, and today it tells the story about the beginnings of this region.
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