Ombilin Coal Mine
The Ombilin Coal Mine (formerly PT Tambang Batubara Ombilin (TBO)) is a coal mine near Sawahlunto, West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is located in a narrow valley along the Bukit Barisan mountains, among the Polan, Pari and Mato hills, approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Padang. Coal was discovered in the mid-19th century by Willem Hendrik de Greve, and mining was pioneered in the area in 1876. The mine is known as the oldest coal mining site in Southeast Asia.
An entrance to the Ombilin coal mine in 1971
|Official name||Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto|
|Criteria||Cultural: (ii), (iv)|
|Designated||2019 (43rd session)|
Coal was discovered in this area by Dutch engineer Willem Hendrik de Greve in 1868. Mining started at the open-pit mine in 1892 after the construction of a railway. In the pre-independence period, coal production peaked in 1930, at more than 620,000 tonnes a year. Prisoners/Kettingganger (Dutch for people in chains) from Java and Sumatra who were transported to the mining site with their legs, hands and necks in chained up, were the main laborers of the mine. Coal production in this mining area was able to fulfill 90 percent of the Dutch East Indies’ energy needs.
In 1942–1945, the mine was controlled by Japan, and the glory of the mine declined also. In 1945–1958, the mine was managed by the directorate of mining and in 1958–1968, by the bureau of state mining companies. In 1968, it became the Ombilin production unit of the state coal mining company. Production peaked in 1976 at 1,201,846 tonnes per year.
Until 2002 it operated as an open-pit mine. After that, only underground mine continues operating. In recent times, CNTIC has invested $100 million to the mine. By 2008, the mine had estimated reserves about 90.3 million tonnes of coking coal, of which 43 million tonnes was mineable. The mine is owned by PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA) and operated by the China National Technology Import-Export Corporation (CNTIC). The mine produces about 500,000 tonnes of coal per year. As of 2019, PT Bukit Asam coal mine company had halted operations in Ombilin.
The mining area continues to bring benefits to its constituents through reforestation of the former mining location and its conversion into a tourist destination. A well maintenance pit with sufficient lighting and air supply from blower attract local and foreign tourists mainly from Malaysia and Singapore. Seeing the pit cost Rp.30,000 (US$3.5) per person. There is Ombilin Coal Mining Museum at Ombilin Coal Mine Complex about the history of the company and the tools that were used for mining. Also there are still several original relics such as the Mbah Soero tunnel, workers and mine workers housing (Tangsi Baru and Field Land), coal filtering, railway factories, government offices, settlements, municipal government. The mining site has been transformed into a zoo, lake and horse-riding track.
- "8 Fakta Tambang Batubara Ombilin Sawahlunto yang Baru Jadi Warisan Dunia". Kompas. Retrieved 8 July 2019. On 6 July 2019, Ombilin Coal Mine was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- "Ombilin coal mine makes it into UNESCO World Heritage list". antaranews.com. 6 July 2019.
- "What to know about the Ombilin coal mine in Sawahlunto". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- Saleh, Khairul (2011-03-23). "From COAL MINE to tourist spot". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
- "Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam" (PDF). B-Inside International Media GmbH. 2004-11-22. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
- PT BUKIT ASAM TO EXPLOIT COAL IN OMBILIN WITH CHINESE FIRM., April 7, 2003 Archived October 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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