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March 15, 2015

Sawah Loento, Societeit. Sumatera Indonesia 1920s

Kota Sawahlunto or Sawah Lunto is a town in West Sumatra, Indonesia, 90 kilometers from Padang. The town itself covers 5.9 km² and has a population of 15,279. The city of which the town is the central part covers 276 sq. km, and had a population of 59,821 in 2014.

Sawahlunto is one of the mining towns in West Sumatra. It was first established as a town in 1882 by the Dutch along with coal mining operations. Coal was discovered in the mid-19th century by Ir. de Greve. It was then suggested to the Dutch that coal should be mined in the area because coal was needed for industry and transportation. After the discovery of coal the area was frequently visited by geologists. Coal mining was pioneered in the area after the eventual "surrender" of the area to the Dutch in 1876.

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