Abandoned copper mine of Jhumlabang


BY JAYA MAN BUDHA MAGAR,Rukum East, Dec. 8: Jhumlabang village in Bhume Rural Municipality-3 of Rukum East established in around 1907 has been a common ground of people with different ethnicity. The history has it that the village was set up because of the copper mine around 115 years ago. 

The village is located far away from the district headquarters and is surrounded by copper mines. Even now, copper mining pits are found in many corners of the village. There is a history of local people earning their livelihood by extracting copper from the mines here more than a hundred years ago.

Tilu Sunar, 74, said, “The whole village is dotted with copper mines. We can find numerous copper mining pits nearby the village which was dug by our ancestors.”  According to him,  mining in the village had begun in 1907. 

He recalled that  his grandparents used to dig for mine until when he was five years old.  He further said said that different ethnic groups started to come from other districts to extract the copper and started settling there. He said that his ancestors also had come from Baglung. 

A historical record is found that different ethnic groups from different places had started residing in the village. 

Om Bahadur Shrestha, 69, informed that the village was built by people of different ethnic groups coming from different places to live in Jhumlabang to earn a living from copper mining and processing. Shrestha said that there are currently around 200 households living in this village, most of whom are of castes other than Brahmins. The ethnic groups like Magar, Gurung, Thakuri, Newar, Dalit and Chhetri are living there. 

Sunar informed that the extraction of copper was stopped since 1952/53. He said that after the Nepal government banned the mining of ancient metals including copper mining, the extraction of copper had stopped in the village. Even though copper mining has the potential to generate a lot of income in the village, the locals have expressed concern that the government has not shown interest in the mining work. 

Chandra Singh Shrestha, Chief Administrative Officer of Bhume Rural Municipality, who is also a resident of Jhumlabang, informed that the village also carries a history of royal palace built there. 

There are still remains of Bhuretakure royal palace in Chalneta of the village. Shrestha informed that there is also a history of minting coins from copper by the king. He added that the village was established as a village of mixed ethnic groups because of the Royal Palace, taksar and copper mines.

Shrestha said that the federal government should take an initiative for mining and its management since the local government only had rights to protect the historical place and copper mines.

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