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吾妻硫黄鉱山 (Azuma Iō Kōzan)

吾妻硫黄鉱山(あがつまいおうこうざん)は群馬県吾妻郡嬬恋村にあった鉱山。 明治43年発見、大正3年に群馬硫黄株式会社が設立され本格的な採掘が開始されたが、業績は振るわず、吾妻硫黄株式会社に引き継がれた。昭和9年には焼取釜を導入した乾式精錬所が稼動、草軽電鉄の専用貨物駅までの策道も完成した。 昭和15年、東洋レーヨン株式会社に買収され帝国硫黄株式会社吾妻鉱山となった。電気がひかれ、吾妻小学校も開校した。 戦後朝鮮戦争の勃発により硫黄需要の爆発的増加、昭和28年には過熱蒸気を用いた湿式精錬も導入され、最盛期の生産量は年間3万トンに達した。昭和35年には集落の世帯数は292戸、人口は1,318名を越えたという。 しかし、重油脱硫からの硫黄回収が進むと共に硫黄採掘は廃れ、昭和46年閉山となった。 吾妻小中学校の体育館の他、崩壊の進んだ集落跡などが見られる。

Azuma sulfur mine

Azuma sulfur mine (Akatsuma Io Kozan) was a mine in Tsumagoi village in Agatsuma gun, Gunma prefecture. Detected in Meiji 43, Gumma Sulfur Co., Ltd. was established in Taisho 3rd year, full-scale mining started, but the result was not taken over but succeeded to Azuma sulfur corporation. In 1954, a dry smelter that installed a grill was operated, and the road to the exclusive freight station of grass light electric railway was also completed. In 1945, it was acquired by Toyo Rayon Co., Ltd. and became Empire Sulfur Co., Ltd. Azuma mine. Electricity was hit, and Azuma elementary school opened. Explosive increase in sulfur demand due to the outbreak of the Korean war after the war, wet smelting using superheated steam was introduced in 1958, and the peak production amount reached 30,000 tons per year. In 1952 the number of households in the settlement was 292 and the population exceeded 1,318. However, as sulfur recovery from heavy oil desulfurization progressed, sulfur mining was abandoned, and it became a closed mountain in 1962. In addition to the gymnasium of Azuma elementary and junior high school, there are evidence of collapsed settlements.

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