Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang, Travel

Construction Power Station Bukit Ibam

Construction of Workshop/Office/Power station Bukit Ibam 1961-1962.

Picture6aPicture7aPhoto above shows the newly constructed building with the main workshop situated at the left hand side, the Iron Ore Treatment plant in the centre area, and the new Power Staion in the right hand section of the building.

Picture8a

Photos’ above and below shows the Electrical Linesmen building the HT Power line from the new Power Station to the Mine office and housing area in 1962.

Picture9aPicture10a

Photos’ above and below show the construction of the new Power Station at the right hand end of the main workshop/ Iron Ore treatment plant building.

Picture11aPicture12aPicture13aThe photo shows the original temporary Power Station at Bukit Ibam during the early days prior to the new Power Station going on-line in 1962.

mamadou

Advertisements
Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang, Tourism, Travel

$100 mil. vote of confidence at Rompin

1962 Aug 26
The Sunday Mail – 26 August 1962

An example of the important role which private enterprise is playing in the development of independent Malaya is the official opening last month of the $100 million Rompin Iron Mine at Bukit Ibam in South Pahang.

It represents the biggest single capital investment in this country since Merdeka.

It is also the largest industrial development project in the history of Pahang.

At a time when rural and industrial development is essential for the future of Malaya, the opening of a mine of such proportions as Rompin is a major contribution to national progress.

1962 Aug 26-2

JOBS OFFERED

For the Mine offers steady employment for hundreds of fishermen who formerly depended on the sea for a hand- to- mouth livelihood.

Also, the significance of the 50 mile railroad built by this company – it cost $20 Million- to connect the Mine with the coastal town of Kuala Rompin cannot be underestimated,

It has opened up an isolated part of Pahang, bringing a better life to hundreds of people hitherto living in wilderness.

Now they can get the products of civilisation without inconvenience.

Like the railway from the mining town of Sungei Lembing to the jetty at Pasir Kemudi, on the Kuantan river, the new line will attract settlers and encourage rural development.

SAND TRACK

To get to from Kuantan to the Mine, one has to go to Pekan by car, then take the 40 mile sand track by Land Rover to Kuala Rompin, thence by the railway to Bukit Ibam.

As the Rompin Mining Companys’ train chugged along at less than 20 miles an hour, it is difficult to imagine the tremendous amount of hard work that has been put in to build the line.

The railway was laid in just under 20 months – over soft coastal sands, through swamps, hills and thick jungles.

It crosses no less than 400 bridges and culverts. A thousand men and nine engineers under Mr G.M.Wheat, a former General Manager of Malayan railway carried out the construction project, explained Mr J.N.McHugh, General Manager of the company.

“The railway was a vital link. Without it, heavy plant and equipment could not have been brought and assembled in time “.

The completion of the line in 20 months was an engineering feat.

ROWS OF HOUSES

There was only one fatality during the whole operation. This occurred when a man was crushed by a tree he was felling.

Two hours and a half after leaving Kuala Rompin, the visitor is greeted by a panorama which in the morning mist appears like a mirage.

As he gets nearer he can see rows of neatly built houses, a giant iron ore procesing plant, a sawmill, and scores of other buildings.

The sound of shunting wagons can be heard distinctly.

And all around this scene of activity is the thick lush jungle.

The story of Bukit Ibam is one of guts and determination.

Prospecting started in 1952 at the height of the Emergency.

Attacks by wild animals,jungle illness and terrorist bullets were the dangers the prospectors faced.

From this pioneering work, Bukit Ibam developed into a thriving centre. Perhaps in ten years it will grow to the size of Dungun in Trengganu, which owes it’s progress to the Bukit Besi Iron mine.

1,400 WORKERS

Kuala Rompin has benefitted immensely from the opening of the Bukit Ibam mine. From a cluster of huts, it has grown into a busy township.

The Rompin mine has 1,400 workers on it’s payroll, — 60 per cent of them Malays.

It has an administration staff of 200 plus 50 Senior Officers, including Australians and Americans.

Several dozen families have already moved to Bukit Ibam. More will join the menlolk as more houses are completed.

Very soon this former jungle wilderness will be home for 6,000 people — a splendid example of progress in modern Malaya.

The Mine’s 58 acres are estimated to contain 20 million tons of high grade iron ore. There is another 20 million tons in the surrounding areas.

Only25 miles from Bukit Ibam is the site of the Bera “find” made by members of the Geological Survey Department. Bera is estimated to have 10 million tons of iron ore.

If the Rompin Mining Company gets the rights to this new iron ore fileld, all it has to do is to push it’s railway further on and then start mining operations.

The company has already spent $100 million on it’s present project, including construction of coastal installations at Kuala Rompin and purchase of tugs and lighters to take the ore to ships.

The present iron ore deposits are expected to keep the mine going for about 15 years. Mr McHugh said it was the company’s aim to develop to the fullest possible capacity all iron ore in the region.

Owing to the Japanese restriction on imports of Malayan iron ore, the Rompin Mining Company can export only one million tons this year.

“We must — and this is equally in the interests of the State of Pahang, increase our export to at least four million tons a year as soon as Japan’s recovery from her temporary economic setback permits increased sales of iron ore” said Mr McHugh.

BIG SHOCK

The decision of Japanese steel mills to impose a drastic reduction in the tonnage of ore to be imported from Malaya this year came as a severe shock to the company.

This unexpected situation had caused a severe reduction of the finance available this year and limited very severely the programme of work it had planned.

Mr McHugh added that with an investment of this size and with a railway capable of handling about six million tons a year, it would be evident that to haul only a million  or a million and a half tons a year was uneconomic.

Mr McHugh even envisaged the possibility of the company’s railway being used one day to link the new port of Kuala Rompin with the Malayan Railway system.

The two lines are of the same gauge.

He acknowledged the help wich the Federation and Pahang governments gave to the company in the Rompin project. He said the Malayan police and security forces at the height of the Emergency provided the company’s jungle teams with armed guards.

AIR DROPS

They also assisted by arranging for supplies of food and other essentials by means of air drops. The Mines and Telecommunications departments also co-operated.

The installation of a VHF link at Bukit Ibam some years ago facilitated the geological investigation of the ore body

Mr McHugh mentioned the vision and drive of those responsible for the project.

They were determined to see this big venture realised in the face of extreme difficulties.

The technical and financial help given by Rompins’ parent company, the Eastern Mining and Metals Co. Ltd was most valuable.

It was EMMCO geologists and surveyors who pioneered the work in the early years. It was from EMMCO the company drew many of it’s Engineers’ and skilled workers.

ADVICE SOUGHT

Emmco’s experience in developing the Dungun mine and training of Malayans for the work had been the foundation of Rompin’s development.

Referring to the construction of the railway, Mr McHugh said the company sought advice in many countries.

It was found that there were few major contractors building railways today.

The best advice the company got was that it would take three years to build it’s meter gauge railway through the coastal swamps and jungle hills.

The company finally decided to do the work itself and brought modern equipment from America for the job.

Work was still continuing now to improve the cuttings and embankments.

mamadou

Posted in History, Life, Pahang

Bukit Ibam mine workers threatened

Bukit Ibam Mine in HistoryBerita Harian 13 Oktober 1970

Berita Harian, 13 October 1970

Rompin (Pahang), Monday – Some 1,000 workers at Bukit Ibam mine, here will face a bleak future when the mines closed in the middle of this month.

The mine will be closed after facing losses since last year, a few workers told Berita Harian recently.

An employee of the mine, Mr. Sulaiman bin Abdul Manaf, said his employer will begin to retrench the workers in the middle of this month.

Mr. Sulaiman, 37 years have five children, explained that in the past the mine workers were paid satisfactory.

Expensive

“Every employee is paid rather good salary compared to the estate and warehouse workers.

“But now we have to be stop worked. And I do not know what should I do after this, ” his added

Several other workers were told that mine employer have yet to give them further details of the quantum of the compensation.

“But if given the money, it cannot supports our lives forever,” said Mr. Kamal bin Abdullah, representing the workers.

Relocate

Some of the employees propose to open new land for cultivation or start a business when they receive compensation monies.

The others make their recommendation that the Government to enroll them into FELDA land schemes or other land projects.

At present about 200 workers have been moved back to their village to start a new life.

There are several shops in the area also started to migrate for business in other areas.

mamadou

Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang

Rehabilitation of Rompin town

Bukit Ibam in History

BH 18NOV 1970 Pemulihan Pekan RompinBerita Harian, 18 November 1970

ROMPIN town will not dim with the closing of Bukit Ibam mine.  Instead the government plans to make the town as centre of a large land development schemes in southeast Pahang which will accommodate lives of unemployed workers due to the closure of the mine.

Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, who held a one-day trip to Rompin on last Monday, announced that the government will soon take over the administration of Bukit Ibam and develop it as a town centre for a new land development scheme covering 2.5 million acres.

The opening log and veneer  factories, construction of 4 miles road from Bukit Ibam to merge with Gambang-Segambat  road and another that road that will connects Bukit Ibam to Lanjut, a port on the coast of Pahang, opening Lanjut as a tourist centre and the establishment of a cooperation between the Government of Pahang with a private company to run the remnants of the mine iron supplies – all of which are intended to maintains the town and  the life of its inhabitants as in the past.

The workers – about 1,200 people – will be met by the projects.  The problems faced by workers are to get a new job as soon as possible.

It is hoped that the projects can be implemented as soon as possible so that workers are not unemployed for long periods. There might be better if the position of the workers be scrutinised further to find anyone among them that really need a job fast, because of their commitment; also need to know of theirs know-how and skills, so they could be given jobs according to skill and knowledge respectively.

It is advisable to provide venue to provide advice to employees while they seek for their new employment.

Advice is important for them to understand what is and will be developed for them by the government.

Detailed plans are necessary to realign the lives of thousands who lost their jobs as it is complex and difficult.

Especially to those are habituated in their place of work.

The closure of the Bukit Ibam mine is not only directly affects the lives of workers but also residents of the town such as shopkeepers and traders who rely directly or indirectly to the employees of the mine.

Visit by Prime Minister Tun Razak to Rompin last Monday showed concern of the federal government.

Rehabilitation program are planned to restore the life of the town and its residents. This commitment would calm their minds as their live have been threatened of the result of the mine closure.

The new jobs may not be matched on income, but this should be faced head on. Meanwhile, as advised by the Prime Minister, consolation money given by their employer to the retrenched workers, should be utilised wisely.

While the government is ready to provide help, but effort made by themselves is more effective.

mamadou

Posted in History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang

Govt takeover of Rompin for land project

Bukit Ibam Mine in History

The Straits Times 17NOV 1970 Govt TakeoverThe Straits Times, 17 November 1970

ROMPIN, Mon – Tun Abdul Razak flew in here today and assured the people their town will not die.

“Your mining town will be the nucleus for the giant Pahang Tenggara land development scheme,” the Prime Minister told the 1,200 retrenched workers of the Rompin mine.

He said the alternative employment would be found for them – some in and around the town itself, while others in various projects to be developed later on.

As an immediate measure, the Government would take over the running of Bukit Ibam Mine site and develop it into the nucleus town within 2.5 million-acre land development scheme.

Survey

A special team comprising officials of Public Works Department, the National Electricity Board and other Government agencies had begun surveying the area for the project that would cost $1 million initially.

After his meeting the officials of the mine, Tun Razak told reporters he was “satisfied” with the measure to be taken to rehabilitate the retrenched workers.

The Rompin Mine, operated by the Eastern Mining and Metals Company since 1962, at its peak employed more than 1,200 people and produced about two-and-a-quarter million tons of high grade ore annually.

About 800 employees have been now retrenched due to low output and the remaining workers would be retrenched at the end of January when the mine ceases operation.

mamadou

Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang

Work for another year at mines

Bukit Ibam in History

The Straits Times 13NOV 1970The Straits Times 13 November 1970

ROMPIN. Thurs – About 100 of the 1,172 retrenched workers of the Rompin mines here will continue to work at the mines for another year.

They have been employed by George Cohen Far East Pte. Ltd.  – agents appointed to dispose off the $10 million worth of plant and equipment of the Rompin Mining Co., which ceased production recently.

The resident manager of George Cohen, Mr. Philip Robinson, said today that the 100 workers would be needed, among other things, to run the power station, and maintain the office account and machinery at Rompin Mining Co.

He said that the company had received numerous enquiries for the equipment from local and foreign companies.

Mr. Robinson added that preference would be given to the retrenched workers who intended to buy the equipment. – Bernama

mamadou