Malaysia was once the largest tin producer in the world and in 1929, it was reported there were 123 active dredges in Malaya. Sadly, there are only 3 tin dredges left in the country and one of them is located at Tanjung Tualang, Batu Gajah along the 9th KM, Jalan Tanjung Tualang, Batu Gajah.
The dredge machine here has been converted to a museum and has been opened to the public since February 2008.
Entrance fee is RM5 each and I believe all those funds will go into maintaining this dredge as it is reported the monthly maintenance for the dredge cost RM 5,000.
There is a mini museum right after the entrance which showcases the history of tin mining and the general arrangement plan of a typical tin dredge machine
This dredge was built in 1938 by W.F. Payne & Sons. It once belonged to Southern Malayan Tin Dredging (M) Sdn Bhd and had scoured for tin ore in the Kinta valley for 44 years until operations stopped in 1983 due to the collapse of the tin industry.
It pretty much look like a floating factory from this angle.
The dredge is in danger of sinking due to its damage on the pontoon side and the management is seeking funds to repair it to keep it afloat.
The heritage dredge, T.T. No. 5 has tilted 18% into the water on the Starboard side at the stern. Some of the machinery and pumps are already submerged under water and part of the area had been flooded.
One should navigate around the deck area with special care as several holes can be spotted here. The steel plate also appear thin and it will take a lot of effort to crop and replace them.
Ideally, one should wear a safety shoes here for safety reason. Anyway, I am used to this type of hazards.
Safety signs can still be found all over the operation areas to ensure the employees adhere to the safety policy and standard at the time.
The dredge bucket which was made from manganese steel and appears to be the most durable material onboard.
The maintenance records of the critical equipment of the dredge was still visible and the last maintenance works carried out was in 1981, roughly about the same period when the tin industry collapsed.
All the machines here are properly fenced and guarded in way of the rotating parts in line with the Factory And Machinery Act at the time.
All the switch gears, starters and "electronics" were made from the United Kingdom. Obviously, they are all obsolete by now.
This is what I believe to be revolving or oscillating screens where large stones and rubble are retained and the tin bearing material passes to another plant.
This living museum is our country's heritage but it will need a huge funding to keep it alive/afloat. Donations can be made to the care taker of this dredge, Century Mission Sdn Bhd who can be reached by 05-3702253 (tel) or firstname.lastname@example.org