In Cangnan County, not too far from Wenzhou, southern Zhejiang, there are tens of alum mines. However beacuse of pollution and shortage of alum resources, the area is living a difficult crisis.
China detains 60% of the world reserves of alum, however with the rapid economic development, alum is replaced by many new materials combined with the use of refined bauxite ore. Now, because of corporate aging, shortage of alum resources, high energy consumption, low performances, pollution, the area is facing a crisis.
Today, resource exploitation zone Jilong shan is nearly exhausted. Almost the entire mountain has been mined out.
There are two types of alum: potassium alum and sodium alum.
Water is used to crystallize the alum.
A common method of producing potash alum is leaching of alumina from bauxite, which is then reacted with potassium sulfate.
The water is highly corrosive.
After being calcined ore is raked into the pool.
Many miners are affected by silicosis (known also as miner's phthisis or grinder’s asthma), a form of lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust.
Jilong shan waste dump.
The effects of pollution on a nearby river bed.
Old miners are suffering from silicosis after working in local mines.