Sulfur Mining

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Sulfur is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol S and atomic number 16. Sulfur is found in meteorites. R.W. Wood suggested that there was a sulfur deposit in the dark regions of the Aristarchus crater. Sulfur occurs naturally around mountainous regions and tropical forests. Sulfites are spread in nature as pyrite, galena, sinabar, stibnite, gypsum, epsom salt, celestial, barite and others. The shape is non-metal that is tasteless, odorless and multivalent. Sulfur in its original form, is a yellow crystalline solid. In nature sulfur can be found as a pure element or as sulfide and sulfate minerals. It is an important element for life and is found in two amino acids (Nurdajat and Elkhasnet, 2007).

Sulfur is formed as a result of volcanic activity, so it is often found in every active volcano, and we know that Indonesia has many active volcanoes. Can you imagine the abundance of sulfur in Indonesia? If not, let's listen.

According to Sumarti (2010), until now only 6 provinces in Indonesia have known that they store sulfur mines, namely:

West Java                       : Mount Tangkuban Perahu, Danau Putri, Galunggung, Ceremai, Telaga bodas
Central Java                    : Mount Dieng
East Java                        : Mount Arjuno, Mount Welirang, Mount Ijen.
North Sumatra                : Mount Namora
North Sulawesi               : Mahawu Mountain, Soputan, and Sorek Merapi Mountain
Maluku                            : Damar Island

Of the total amount of sulfur produced, around 70-85% is used to make sulfuric acid. While sulfuric acid is widely used for fertilizer industry (37%), chemical industry (18%), color material industry (8%), pulp and paper (7%), steel iron, synthetic fiber, petroleum and others.

Ijen Crater is the main sulfur producer in Indonesia compared to other regions (Sumarti, 2010). According to the manager of Alas Purwo National Park, where the National Park is in charge of, among others, the Ijen Crater area, states that at least 14 tons of sulfur are mined every day. Meanwhile, based on the BPPTK analysis, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation stated that this value is only about 20% of the real potential provided by nature. Can you imagine? If it's still lacking, there is still one more fact about the potential of sulfur. According to the Mining Information Technology Program Group (2005), if the processing of sulfur is carried out by sublimation, sulfur is a mining material that is NOT LIMITED