15 July 2017

The Remains of 13 Levels - Jinguashi mining area

Updated : November 2018

Northern Coast of Taiwan is full of interesting places. Today we are visiting he Remains of the Thirteen Levels (十三層遺址) which is also called a Shuinandong Smelter (水湳洞精煉廠). It's located in Jinguashi mining area in Ruifang District of New Taipei. It's a Japanese era copper smelting refinery which is now one of abandoned places in Taiwan.
This place is just a short walk from Golden Waterfall, which is also an interesting place to see.

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

In 1905 the mining directory of Jinguashi mine discovered gold, sulfur, arsenic and copper ore in the area. In the same year a factory was established here to deal with gold and copper ore. In 1907, the Jinguahi mine produced 47 metric tons of copper and became world famous. The development of Shuiyudong settlement is related to gold and copper ores. The employees buildings was built on the hillside opposite to Jiufen River. The buildings was separated into four and six households.

After actively mining of the Jinguashi gold mine, Japanese discovered the sulfur-arsenic copper and in 1920 converted the mine into copper mining and refinery. The Shuinandong Smelter was completed in 1933 and worked by war prisoners during Japanese occupation. The Smelter construction is built on a hillside and actually has 18 levels. It was the biggest smelter in Asia at that time. In 1945 it was taken over by Taiwan Gold And Copper Mining Bureau and in 1955 converted into Taiwan Metal Mining.

See also: Golden Waterfall

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan
shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

This area was rich in gold and copper, but output began to decline in 1970s. After 1987 the business ended and soon this place became abandoned. In 2007 the place was registered as historic building. The Remains of the 13 Levels are the largest site of former Jinguashi area, producing 50,000 tons of copper per year.


This place also has one of world's longest concrete pipeline ventilation system. Those pipes are built along the hillside and each is about 1km long. Those large pipes can be easily seen from a far. It was necessary for copper smelting in the past to discharge a large amount of copper smoke. The copper smoke is highly toxic
It's a witness of development of Taiwan's mining industry. In 2008 it was announced as a cultural landscape.


shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan


shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan

Nearby this place you can also see 
Golden Waterfall (黃金瀑布). Due to rich rainfalls the minerals are washed out of stones and yellow water falls into the river and then into the sea.
The waterfall's color isn't the result of mining but existed long before the mining period. Color of this waterfall is nature and caused by heavy metals in the ground. The water has beautiful golden color in the sunshine but touching it isn't good due to its toxicity.

golden waterfall ruifang new taipei taiwan

golden waterfall ruifang new taipei taiwan




The water from this area also fall into the sea making a special landscape called Yin Yang Sea (陰陽海)Located in Northern Coast the Yin Yang Sea is definitely a special landscape. The name was taken from contrast between yellowish-brown water and the natural blue color of the sea.
In the beginning people used to think the water's yellow color is due to pollution from Taijin Company. This copper company stopped few years ago, but the sea colors remains the same. This mysterious color of sea was explained by geological studies.

shuinandong smelter remains of 13 levels ruifang net Taipei taiwan


Address:
Golden Waterfall, Jinshui Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, 224

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