Ijen Crater Sulfur Miner – KawahIjenTour.Com. Ijen Crater is an acidic crater lake located at the top of Mount Ijen with a lake depth of 200 meters. Ijen Crater is in the area of Ijen Tourism Park, Bondowoso Regency and Banyuwangi Regency, East Java. Indonesia lies Kawah Ijen volcano Located In Banyuwangi District East Java , with 2,610 meters high , topped with a large caldera and a 200 meter deep lake of sulfuric acid.
The quietly active volcano emits gases through fumaroles inside the crater, and local miners have tapped those gases to earn a living. Stone and ceramic pipes cap the fumaroles, and inside, the sulfur condenses into a molten red liquid, dripping back down and solidifying into pure sulfur. Miners hack chunks off with steel bars, braving extremely dangerous gases and liquids with minimal protection, then load up as much as they can carry for the several kilometers to the weighing station.
Loads can weigh from 45 to 90kg (100 – 200 lbs), and a single miner might make as many as two or three trips in a day. At the end of a long day, miners take home approximately Rp. 50,000 ($5.00 u.s.). The sulfur is then used for vulcanizing rubber, bleaching sugar and other industrial processes nearby.
Night shows 1 o’clock in the morning. The temperature is very cold enough to pierce the bone. The ascent to the crater of Mount Ijen is only opened at 02.00 in the morning. But from a distance it has seen the bustle of sulfur miners in Mount Ijen. The path to reach the crater of Mount Ijen is quite steep and slippery. It takes about 2 hours to reach the crater of Mount Ijen from the Paltuding campground or the starting point of the climb.
When I was around Ijen’s crater, the smell of sulfur was very intense. Even many visitors have to use special masks to avoid toxic fumes being released from the Ijen crater. But amid the danger of smoke and the smell of sulfur, the miners bravely approached the lip of the crater to mine sulfur. A work that is very dangerous and is at high risk because toxic fumes released by sulfur can kill them at any time. They only have a thin jacket, flashlight and do not use masks when mining activities. The mining output they carry is very heavy, around 70-80 Kg.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of visitors who want to see the blue fire phenomenon of Ijen crater, the miners look patiently transporting sulfur mines with rocky and steep terrain. According to Suryadi, one of the sulfur miners who also works at one of the resorts at the foot of Mount Ijen, sulfur miners are usually able to carry a load of around 75 kg for a single trip. When their bodies are healthy, usually a miner can do 2 times a day. For each of their transport results, it is valued at Rp. 1,025 per KG by collectors. Then the mining products were brought to a company located in Taman Sari Village, Banyuwangi Regency for later reprocessing for chemical needs, a sugar factory. Usually to look for additional, the miners make various forms of processed souvenirs that are unique from sulfur and sold to tourists on Mount Ijen.
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