Snapshot: Sulfur Miner of Kawa Ijen

Kawa Ijen

Kawa Ijen

Banyuwangi, Indonesia

Rising at 2,600 meters or 8,660 feet above sea level in East Java, Indonesia, is Kawah Ijen, an active volcano topped with a large caldera of molten sulfuric acid.

Everyday, tourists trek the volcano to have a glimpse of its green and fuming crater lake. Undoubtedly, its sheer beauty is a sight to behold. But while it is an attraction to some, it is a primary source of living for locals of Banyuwangi.

They are called sulfur miners, and for a minimal fee, they risk their health and their lives everyday harvesting chunks of yellow mineral from the caldera of Kawa Ijen. They carry loads of solid sulfur on their back into the weighing station, not once but twice or even thrice a day just to earn 70,000 to 90,000 Indonesian Rupiah (less than 10 US Dollars).