Iljen is a large volcano complex on East Java, Indonesia. An active vent on the edge of a volcanic lake is a prime source for sulfur. A mining operation harvests the molten sulfur produced from ceramic pipes that release escaping volcanic gasses.
The miners wait for the extruding material to cool before breaking it down into smaller pieces. The miners then haul up to 200 lbs. of hardened sulfur nearly 1,000′ to the crater’s rim, and then nearly 2 miles down the mountain to be weighed.
Sulfur mining on Iljen is considered to be on the most dangerous jobs in the entire world. Check out this insightful piece from Insider News explaining why miners risk their lives on a daily basis.
Insider News:“In East Java, Indonesia, hundreds of miners face deadly smoke to mine sulfur, or “devil’s gold.” So why do they do it? In this episode of Risky Business, we head to Ijen volcano to find out.”