Malaysia's Gunung Keriang

Gunung Keriang Caves Crystals Exhausted

July 25, 2011 / Malaysia, Asia

The popular northern Malaysian tourist destination of Gunung Keriang has become deserted due to the over harvesting of calcite crystals the mountain was known for. Just north of Alor Setar, it was one of the cities major attractions, popular for exploring, trekking, rock climbing and bird watching.

Tourists would flock by the bus load to visit the mountain in order to purchase or search for colorful crystals found in the caves. In recent times however, the supply has become scarce.

Local miners of the crystal would descend into the caves with chisels, hammers and picks to mine the crystal, sometimes taking out as much as 10kg (22lbs) of the calcite each visit. It would then be sold as raw crystal pieces or polished and fashioned into decorative pieces. Fetching the miners up to 400 Malaysian ringgits ($135 USD) a day.

Local authorities have been blamed for not monitoring the mining of the calcite.

For more information visit the Caves of Malaysia – Threats to Caves & Hills.

Last Glimmer [New Straits Times via an email from reader Liz Price]

Photo by wan_photoshoot

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