Report - - Ma On Shan Iron Ore Mine, Hong kong. 2018-19 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ma On Shan Iron Ore Mine, Hong kong. 2018-19


Bespectacled & irrelevant
Regular User
The Ma On Shan Mine is in the New Territories area of Hong Kong and was worked from 1905 to 1976. Initially operated by local independent miners as an open cast mine with short adits and then worked sporadically by the Japanese during WW2, it wasn't until it was taken over in 1953 by the Japanese Nittetsu Mining Company that it started to be a properly industrial operation.

In addition to heavily industrial mining techniques, in 1954 a magnetic ore refining plant was built which increased the ore concentration from the naturally occurring 30-32% to 60%. This operated 24 hours a day and produced 480 tonnes of concentrated ore in that time. A contract was signed with Nippon Steel for 120,000 tonnes of this higher quality ore annually.

Throughout its operation the mine produced more than 3,000,000 tonnes of concentrated ore peaking in the late 1950's to early 1960's with up to 6000 miners producing in excess of 400,000 tunnel of ore each year.

Operations started at the 240m level and initially developed upwards with workings at 247, 254, 261 and 268m levels. By 1965 these were exhausted and the mine developed downwards.
The portal at the 240m level still exits but the workings there and above are no longer accessible. The 110m level was the main haulage drive with four huge hoppers for loading the train to move the ore outside. There is also still a portal at the 110m level which means that its possible to make this into a through trip.
Personally I'd recommend doing it that way, as the walk back up is a bitch! As an added bonus the bottom being open means that there is really good ventilation through the main tunnels with only the dead ends being stale.
Soon after entering at the 240m level we come to a steep slope which runs all the way down to the 144m level.

There is access to the 192m level, but its dominated my serious collapses. I've never been much more than 50-100m into this level and I've almost never taken my camera out there.

Happily the 144m level has got a lot more going on, there are still cave-ins in some of the branch tunnels but on the whole it is in good condition and the main runs are clear.

View looking back up the slope

The mine used an interesting system to move the blasted ore through the main tunnels and into the ore drops- along the main tunnels was a system of chain driven scrapers which dragged the ore until it fell into the stopes where it would be dropped into mining carts moved by electric locomotives. One of the first rooms you enter at the bottom of the slope has the concrete plinth where the which would have ben mounted and a breeze block wall to hopefully stop the chain in the event of it snapping.

On the other side of the wall is the top of a now flooded stope.

Heading back from the plinth is what was apparently an office of sorts. Th bottom of the entrance slope can be seen ahead.

Here we can see the bottom of an ore shoot from the level above with the remains of the mechanism for loading the carts along with the remains of a cart.

Continuing through the 240m level there are plenty more interesting things to see.

Looking up what's marked on the map as the 30 degree slope

To the left of the photo above is what was store rooms and a workshop.

Here we can see the bottom of the stope from the level above feeding into a much larger one leading to the 110m level.

The way through to the 110m level access takes us past the explosive stores. The bars for the gates here are made from worn out or broken drills that have been hammered into the rock and welded together.

The way down to 110m is interesting to say the least, I've not taken any photos of the process as it doesn't really leave any spare hands.. The photo below is looking back up one of three sections which have to be climbed down. There are some really suspect sections of rope that have been tied in to help, so you have to kind of half climb half abseil your way down.

Once down to the 110m level it's a lot less vertical, there's a main drive which had two sets of tracks in and a few side tunnels coming off from that.

Ahead is the main drive to the portal and the tunnel to the right was a siding for the locomotive.

Main drive to the right and the bottom of the 30 degree slope to the left.

Finally a then and now of the portal at 110m.




28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely stuff !!


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Man...when you do a report you never fail to do anything less than epic. Remember you telling me about this place. Fantastic stuff Dr.

Urban Fox

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow, no idea there would be anything like this in Hong Kong. Great report and pics.