Open Pit is not a tourist destination. And this place wasn't built for that. There are numerous vertical ventilation caves scattered around the hill which could have been fatal to the casual morning visitor. The road to the Open Pit was also damaged. If you come by ordinary vehicle, you have to park at the foot of the hill and walk up the hill to the top of Gunong Kik Karak, unless you are using a 4x4 vehicle. This place can be reached by an hour's drive from Tanjungpandan to the east, in the same direction as to Manggar.
If you are a photographer either amateur or pro, this place will probably be heaven for you. Maybe some of you have already taken a photography trip to Kawah Putih, which is a true volcanic crater on Mount Patuha in West Java. This place is similar, but has its own uniqueness. Your target photo is the color and pattern of the rocks around the crater, the tin miners as human interest and the crater itself. The photos on this page were taken during the day with unfavorable lighting conditions. You better spend the dawn or the sunset at this place. We hope you can produce interesting photos of this place.
Open Pit is not a beach. This is the name of an area that was used by Australian mining company BHP Billiton (Billiton is the international name of Belitung) (1971-1985) and later transferred to a German company called Preussag GmbH of Hannover, where they were used as a tin mining operations center until late 1989.
Now, there are no more roaring machines and busy mining activities in this place, the two companies are no longer operating in Belitung. This place is just an abandoned crater and no one comes to this place for sightseeing. The only activities in this place are local residents who carry out traditional tin mining, trying to get the remnants of tin from the sand that is left in the cave, as shown in the photo above. They used traditional utensils such as a frying pan to separate tin from ordinary sand. They collect the remains of sand from inside the cave. This is a very dangerous activity, because they do not use adequate safety equipment and the caves have been abandoned for more than 20 years, without adequate ventilation. However, because that is the only skill and opportunity they have, they do it anyway.
This place is unique because it is actually a hill with the name Gunong Kik Karak. Because this hill has the potential for large tin reserves in it, the mining company made a giant excavation to form a crater on the top of Mount Kik Karak. The size of the crater is the same as the actual volcanic crater. Gunong Kik Karak is located in the town of Kelapa Kampit sub-district in the district of East Belitung.
Why did the tin mining company make such a big project? This is a way for them to transport the rocks from the bowels of the earth to be loaded into trucks. The early history of modern tin mining began when the Dutch government granted mining exploitation rights to the Billiton company which was founded on September 29, 1860 in the Netherlands to operate on the tin-rich islands of Bangka and Belitung.
Large trucks used to drive around the side of the crater, crawl up the side of the crater to the side of the summit and carry the lead containing the rock to the processing center. Around the crater, there are many holes, namely man-made caves. This place is actually an underground tin mining center. So the lead-rich stones were actually taken from the caves, and the crater was created as a way for transport trucks to approach the cave doors that were located around the crater.
The cave was made using dynamite explosions. Geologists explored the rock structure and identified points where caves could be made. The workers then drilled into the rock and placed dynamite there. After exploding, the rocks are transported from inside the cave to the Open Pit area. That was the tin mining activity in Belitung at that time. This place used to be visited by many workers and experts from Europe.