Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

1. ruins of the iron ore mine in Bukit Besi, Dungun

As a child of Kinta Valley, I have always been fascinated with mining operations. I love visiting tin mines here in Perak and was delighted when I had the opportunity to visit the former iron ore mine at Bukit Besi in Dungun, Terengganu.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

2. the 50 m tunnel that allowed wagons carrying iron ore to pass through the hill

I do not know how accurate this information is but it is believed that the mine, the largest then in Southeast Asia, was discovered around 1916 but mining only began in 1927 by the Japanese. The iron ore was exported to Japan to be made into weapons and armaments.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

3. storage room for iron ore

The iron ore mine was closed following World War II around 1941. The operations of the mine were then taken over by the British sometime in 1945. Apparently, the mineral was also exported to Japan.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

4. storage room for iron ore

This mine was closed for good in 1971 when the mining company (EMMCO) found a better mining concession in Australia. From what I was told, the taxes imposed on them here were just too high.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

5. iron ore was transported from this spot to the structure opposite via a pulley system, to be loaded onto trains and shipped to Dungun Port

While at Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine, what should you look out for?

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

6. the present office of Central Terengganu Development Authority (KETENGAH)

The first thing that greets you upon entering the mine area would be a tall chimney. That should be your landmark indicating that you have arrived at Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine. Too bad I do not have a photo of it.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

7. History Gallery of the former iron ore mine in Bukit Besi

After checking out the History Gallery, you should drop by the ruins of the mine manager’s house. It makes a great backdrop for photographs.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

8. framed photographs of old equipment

Next up would be the crushing plant. Go in a group as it had been abandoned and therefore, quite scary. Nearby is the tunnel where ore was conveyed by wagons out of the hill.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

9. various minerals and ores

Within walking distance from this spot is the stockpile area.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

10. clockwise from top left: exhibits of granite, magnetite & marble

Apart from these, there are more structures which were used in the process of mining iron ore. I feel that having a good guide to explain the history of the mine makes a world of difference to your visit.

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

11. ruins of the mine manager’s residence

For more information on Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine, contact the Central Terengganu Development Authority (KETENGAH).

Bukit Besi Iron Ore Mine

12. ruins of the mine manager’s residence (side view)

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With love

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