Industrial Heritage

Exploring the Industrial Heritage of Ma On Shan


Ma On Shan mine used to be Hong Kong's largest commercial exploitation of mines, mainly producing magnetite with reserves estimated at seven million tons.  In the 1950s and 1960s in Southeast Asia, Ma On Shan mine was the only iron ore mine with commercial value and had over 3,000 miners working per day during its peak time.  


Ma On Shan iron mining......

1931: Hong Kong government issued a 50-year mining licence, Ma On Shan Iron mining officially kicks off.

1949: Mutual Trust Company took over the mine as a mine contractor and sold the mining iron ore to Japan.

1953: The mining ore developed to explore underground mining techniques, opening an 240 meters level outlet in one of its major tunnel.

1959: Open pit ceased operation replaced by full use of tunnel mining technology.

1963: The whole system is completed, 110 meters level tunnel outlet opening .

1976: Due to global environmental changes and the reduced demand of steel and high mining costs, the company closed the mining ores.


Excerpts ......

“He was ready to set off to high school but due to riots in the city, his father advised him to return to Ma On Shan to live and work in the mine.  From Assistant Surveyor to trainee, he learnt about the blasting technology from the more experienced miners.  Through exams organized by the Government, he was awarded a certificate to become a recognized blasting member, hence began his career in this field.”     

Ma On Shan miner Li Qiaorui (currently serving the MTR responsible for tunnel blasting works).