During my stay in Taiwan I have been invited by the teachers to visit several areas that they consider to have educational potential for school camps.
|Iron and Copper minerals have stained the famous “Golden Waterfall”|
The first area was on the NE coast around Keelung Mountain which is an old dacite volcano. This area is rich in minerals including copper and gold. Gold was first discovered here by some chinese workers who were washing their food bowls in a local stream. They happened to be experienced gold panners, having moved to Taiwan from California where they had been part of the famous 19th century gold rush some years earlier.
|Part of the Jinguashi Mine complex, now abandoned.|
We spent a couple of days exploring the area, including several the rock outcrops, a museum, and the Jinguashi mining buildings.
|Memorial, Jinguashi Mine|
There is a memorial at the site of the prison camp where prisoners of World War 2 were held by the Japanese and made to work in the gold mine in slave conditions.
|Gold miner at Jinguashi, Taiwan|
This local old timer has a huge collection of minerals and a practical knowledge of the geology of the area as well as methods for mining gold and other precious metals (see video below).
We decided that the area had great potential for a camp for the year 11 students, with lots of opportunity to explore chemistry, mineralogy and mining methods along with the social, environmental, economic and historical aspects of how resources are used in an area.