The Only Amber Factory in the World
The Only Amber Factory in the World is located in the town of Yantarny (the word yantar means amber in Russian), Kaliningrad Region, Russia. Baltic amber is a specific subset of amber that is found only in northern Europe: it accounts for some 80% of the known amber in the world. Between 35 and 50 million years ago, sap oozed out from a forest of conifers (probably either false larch or kauri) in the region now covered by the Baltic Sea, and eventually hardened into clear lumps. About 90% of the world’s extractable amber is still located in the Kaliningrad Region of Russia at the Baltic Sea.
By the time the Russian army entered Prussia, Germans had stopped extracting amber so they had to restore the pit and build new infrastructure. Thus, in June, 1948, it was put into operation. In 1960, they opened a new pit but due to some projecting mistakes they had to keep on working at the old one even though it was officially closed in 1972.
At first, they dug a 50 to 60 meter deep pit and then began to pan out amber from the botton of the pit. A worker washes off the upper layer of the dead rock with a water-jet which later gets pumped over into the sea. After that, with a drag-line crane, they remove a thin layer of the dead rock which covers blue earth. Finally, the amber ground gets piped to the concentrating mill for further treatment.
At the factory there is a close check after each employee because there were times when workers did not receive their wages and had to steel things from the factory. Now, they are trying to break this bad habit. So, in this room they wash stones…