Tin Mine Palong, Kinta River

Kinta Riverfront palong
1. palong

As part of Morubina Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, a life-size tin mining palong was unveiled a month ago. The company, that is striving to liven Kinta River, which is fronted by their Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, also plans to build a tin mining museum-cum-workshop next to the palong. It cost RM500,000 to reconstruct the palong, which was donated by former tin miner Dato’ Chin Lean Choong and the Malaysian Chamber of Mines.

Kinta Riverfront palong
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Kinta Riverfront palong
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This palong is said to be the first of its kind in Malaysia, although there is a similar one at the Lost World of Tambun’s Tin Valley. The “palong”, which is a Malay word used to refer to the sluice boxes, is the most important structure in an open-cast tin mine. The floor gradient would determine the effectiveness of the palong in retrieving tin ore.

Kinta Riverfront palong
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Kinta Riverfront palong
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Work on the tin mining museum-cum-workshop is expected to begin this October, but at this point in time, there is no indication of when it would be completed and open to public; and its expenditure.

Kinta Riverfront palong
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Kinta Riverfront palong
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At this time of writing, anyone is free to check out the palong, which is located across the riverbank from Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites. One has to cross the red metal bridge, a replica of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.

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2 thoughts on “Tin Mine Palong, Kinta River

  1. i worked in tin mine near Grik for 1 year..they should post some pictures and the whole process… its not easy to see mining process nowadays

  2. The gradient of the big palong (kam san kow), about 150ft in length, and the water-pressurised sluice box (sui seong) are the most important implements for the recovery of tin ore in any tin mining operations.

    Here are the workings of the water-pressurised sluice box in the tin shed….

    A tin shed consists of minimum one or two small palongs (kow chai) approximately 12ft long, water-pressurised sluice box and a heater. These are used to process the tin ore and other minerals together with sand retrieved and collected from the ‘washing’ of the palong every week.

    The tin ore and other minerals, together with the sand, are then scooped by spade and slowly lowered into the water-pressurised sluice box.

    Using the principle of different pressure discharges different minerals based on their specific gravity (SG), the water-pressurised sluice box will discharge tin ore being heavier in SG, through the 0.5in hole located at the bottom most of the pressurised sluice box.

    Other minerals like zircon, titanium, ilmenite, etc. will be discharged through another 0.5in hole located above the one that discharges tin ore.

    And finally, sand being the lightest in SG, will be discharged through a 0.5in hole above the lower two mentioned above.

    After going through this process, the tin ore is again run through a small palong (kow chai) in the tin shed. There, the tin ore is processed and separated from other minerals until its Sn content is at least 75% and above, to be sold for a higher price.

    The tin ore is then dried by the heater and packed in canvas bags of 100kg each to be sold to tin smelters like Straits Trading or Dato Keramat Smelters.

    The remaining of the tailing of the tin ore is sold to amang factories to be further separated by magnetic separators, from zircon, ilmenite, titanium, etc.

    These minerals are sold separately to overseas markets.

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