Sultan Opens $100m Iron Mine – Biggest in Malaya

Bukit Ibam Mine in History

The Straits Times 8 July 1962

Bukit Ibam Mine – Contribution of  Trevor Hislop

Arrival of Sultan of Pahang, Sir Abu Bakar Muadzam Shah for opening ceremony of Bukit Ibam Mine – Contribution of Trevor Hislop

On Saturday, 7 July 1962, Bukit Ibam Mine was declared open as Malaya’s biggest iron mine by the Sultan of Pahang. Sultan Abu Bakar officiated the opening by pressing a button at the treatment plant of the Bukit Ibam Mine which owned by Rompin Mining Ltd.

The mine, at 770-ft high Bukit Ibam, in the wilds of South Pahang, cost $100 million to develop.

After the opening ceremony, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Inche Mohamed KhirJohari, told the Sunday Times:

“It is the biggest capital investment in Malaya since merdeka”.

Also the largest development project by a commercial company”.

Sultan of Pahang welcomed by workers of Rompin Mining Co. Ltd. lead by Dave Newick – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

Part of 1,400 workers of Bukit Ibam Mine – Contribution Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

The Sultan entourage – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai


“The mine was open in true pioneer spirit.  I am really pleased”.

This mining centre, which will eventually have a population of 6,000, was decorated with bunting and arches for the opening ceremony.

As the train carrying the royal party halted after its 50-mile journey from Lanjut, two miles from Kuala Rompin, 1,400 workers at the mine shouted “Daulat Tuanku”.

The mine is one of the largest in South-East Asia

The first shipment of iron ore, 10,000 tons was left Kuala Rompin on 6 July 1962 for Japan.

Another view of Bukit Ibam Mine – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

A group of mechanics – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

Two gentlemen and stockpile of iron ore – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

Transporting of iron ore by rail to the jetty at Kampong Lanjut in Kuala Rompin – Contribution of Vignesh Baskaran Pillai

Mr. J.N. McHugh, managing director of Rompin Mining Company, in his opening speech thanked the Federation and Pahang Governments for their cooperation during 10 years it had taken for the mine to start operations at Bukit Ibam.

He said the company initial $100 million investment would increase as the mine expanded.

Memory – a group of workers of Bukit Ibam Mine – Contribution of Trevor Hislop



  1. In late 1973 I met 2 Malaysian boys in Rome [Shapaun Haji Ali & Hisham Bin Talib] we traveled together for a few weeks then split up in Lahore where they were attending University. About a year later I stayed with Hisham in Kuala Lumpur , when I went to see Shapaun in Kota Bharu he was out of town but the family was very gracious as was everyone. Malaysia is a beautiful country with mellow people and I wish I stayed longer.


  2. i went to the lanjut english school ,mr harvey n miss ong our teachers my father marcel boudville knew the duncans ,woods,stewart,che din,brinks,hope all u guys still alive


  3. saya dan khaidir adapertalian darat makngah napisah mak saudara saya dan napisah sepupu khaidir .napisah anak saudara mak kilau.


  4. right now i’m live in Bukit Ibam..and i wonder how it look like places before …if documentary film still wacthable..please..


  5. I was a Boy Scout in Singapore in 1967. Our scout group camped at the Kuala Rompin rest area close to the beach. We had unspoiled forest and miles of deserted beach to ourselves. The highlight was the train trip up to the mine at Bukit Ibam through virgin rain forest and swamps. Apart from a guided tour of the mine we went to a local Orang Asli village next to river near the mine. The mining company had a film documentary showing how the mine was developed. I wonder if there is still a copy in existence.

    The 10 day camping expedition was a fantastic experience for me as an impressionable 12 year old from England. Now, 48 years later I work in KL and have been able to visit the Kuala Rompin area recently but have yet to venture back up to Bukit Ibam


  6. Dear Bishrul.
    You may share the articles and the photographs provided you have to give credit where its due and also to maintain the purpose not for commercial or gain profit from such materials
    Thanks for visiting.


  7. Hi mamadou,
    I was born in Kuala Rompin. There a lot of people in Rompin were ex-rompin Co. May i share your article and pictures in my blog?


  8. Dear Matt
    The history was quite young, that the remnants of RompinCo’s locomotive left with little care at Lanjut near to the resort hotel where you were accommodated.
    However, how are you now?


  9. I was 8-9 years old in 1963-64 when we moved to Lanjut… Stepfather, Lyman Lantry, was part of the railroad works for Rompinco and we lived on the beach with wonderful neighbors; the Brinks, the Sapps, and others. It was amazing to go to a one room schoolhouse and play in the jungle. We went back in 2002 and stayed at the resort and I was suprised that we had to share information with the locals as to what used to be where. Everything is gone except an engine on display in Rompin. Such a young country with wonderful people.


  10. 1964 kerja di Cold Storage Ibam Doshi dan Felt ,Tambi, Lim (Singaporian), 1965 Laboratory KM John, Crowther, Booth……. di ibam tinggal rumah M74. 1970 balik Pekan kerja Kilang elektronik Pekan dan Ibam sdn bhd. 1976 dengan UPM Serdang hingga 2000 sekarang tokey sendiri membekal peralatan saintifik.


  11. Hi Vicki
    Hope that you are doing well in US and our ex-RompinCo’s friends could read this and response to you. Then your relationship will blossom again.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family
    Thank you


  12. Hello – just seeing this post. My family lived in Lanjut frm last 60’s until the Lanjut mines closed in 1972. My father’s name was Mr. Freddie Miranda. We knew the Newicks, Woods, Duncan’s, Harveys(headmaster of Lanjut School), Zoe’s and many more families. Many went back to Australia. We are still in touch with most of them. We live in the USA now. If any ex-Rompinco people out there, p,s email to All the best and thanks for the walk down memory lane!


  13. Dear sir, now i live in Kuantan and my wife is from Segamat , when i’m back in segamat i used to stop at Bukit Ibam. So next time i wish to meet my arwah’s friends in Bukit Ibam, although i’m still young at that time i hope to meet them in Bukit Ibam


  14. Assalamualaikum En Omar

    You may contribute and share your photographs with the rest like Kamarul.
    Interesting to know that you were there when the Bukit Ibam highest in its glory
    Thanks and best regards


  15. M Khaidir Abd Ghani past away decade ago. his wife still alive. nearly all khaidir’s brothers and sisters had past away. His closed friends like Razak Mohamad , Ibrahim Zainudin, Tengku Sulung lost contacts…..Tengku Jalil (past away). I am half brother to Khaidir.Kamarul. you were to young that time to remember Ibam. I still remember the barrack I used to satay no M 174 I still keep some photos of my activities at Ibam


  16. Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Khaidzir, Arwah ayah saya berkerja dgn Rompinco 1964/65 hingga 1970, dan saya pernah duduk di bukit ibam hingga tahun 1970.Saya masih ingat cold storage, padang basketball dan lain2..saya ingin melihat lebih banyak gambar2 bukit ibam ketika itu.


  17. saya bertughas di makmal rompinco ibam dari 1965 1970
    Mr. Booths, Crowther, , John, chua,,,,,,,,Mitchele,,,,,,,hashm junid Mat fathil….
    saya omar mohamad


  18. your article brought back fond memories of working with Rompinco in the sixties.
    Photos of familiar faces, of Dave Newick, Mr. and Mrs. Woods also brought me back
    to those wonderful years. Thank you. Any ex-Rompinco people out there?


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