Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5



From their web information:

Tanjung Tualang is a small town in Kinta district, known as Kinta Valley Perak, Malaysia and located at 4° 19' 0" North dan 101° 4' 0" East. It's under the administration of West Kinta Town Council (Majlis Perbandaran Kinta Barat). Other nearby town is Kinta Valley, Kampung Baru Chendrong, Batu Gajah, Kampung Gajah, Teluk Intan, Tronoh, Tronoh Mines, Malim Nawar, Gopeng dan Kampar.

It was originally one of the major tin-mining towns in Malaysia around early 1900'. Get it names from Tualang tree or Toh Allang Chinese Tin Ltd.

Here is the list of multinational amalgamated and tin mining company whose on one time operated and control the mining area in Tanjung Tualang in the mid 1900’

1. Lower Perak Tin Dredging

2. Southern Kinta Consolidated

3. Southern Malayan Tin Dredging

4. Austral Amalgamated Tin

5. Osborne & Chapple

6. Pernas Chartered Management

  1. 7.Malaysian Mining Corporation

A tin dredge is like a floating factory. This one, named Tanjung Tualang Dredge No. 5, or TT5,  weighs 4,500 tons and is supported by a pontoon of 75 meters in length, 35 meters in width and 3 meters in depth. It was built in England in 1938 by F.W.Payne & Son which, at that time, was a major design engineering company in bucketline dredges.

Tin dredges work by scooping up bucket loads of tin-bearing soil at the front end, which then passes through an oscillating drum and a system of jigs and screens to extract the tin, before spewing out the waste material at the rear end through a number of chutes.

This dredge was built for the Southern Malayan Tin Dredging Ltd, a company formed in 1926 which operated a further 5 dredges in the Batu Gajah and Tanjung Tualang area. TT5 was in operation for 44 years until 1982 by which time the Malaysian tin industry was in rapid decline due to a combination of exhausted tin deposits, low tin prices and high operating costs.

All the tin mining and dredging activity which took place for over a hundred years has left behind a pockmarked landscape running for hundreds of miles down the length of Peninsular Malaysia. But the scars have filled with water and cleaned up quite well  and now serve new roles as fishing ponds, wetlands, water features for housing developments and so on.

We had attempted a visit maybe 5 years ago, but the dredge had been closed to visitors for safety reasons. In the intervening time, sponsorship has been gained & funds raised to start repairing & renovating the dredge. It is still a work in progress, so maybe in a few years we can return & visit the upper (screening) decks.

Our small admission fee included a guided tour, in English. The dredge is a bit too large for our camera lenses, so these pictures really don't do it any justice!

Visiting TT5 tin dredge