Coal mining in 18th century Labuan
The northern tip of the island is called Tanjung Kubong. An expansive
network of underground tunnels and deep wells are found in this area.
This is the site of coal mining, which started in 1847. The mine was
operated by various British companies for 64 years. The last one,
the New Central Borneo, installed an 8 mile long railway track to
Victoria Port to facilitate the export of the coal. A series of mining
accidents led to the closure of the mine in 1911. The area is dotted
with pits and tunnels. Old bricks and pieces of rail tracks and rusted
cables can still be seen strewn on the ground. One can actually enter
a low tunnel with the help of a short rope and emerge from the top.
Across the road next to the Chimney, is a vertical well. It is 10
feet wide and measuring some 100 feet deep. At the bottom of this
well are found entrances of more tunnels, which are yet to be explored.