Tonglushan or Tonglu Mountain is 28 kilometers from the important heavy industry town of Huangshi in Hubei Province. It is on the banks of Daye Lake which connects via waterways to the Yangzi River. Archaeologists discovered several hundred mining pits in this location and a number of copper-ore smelting furnaces that date from the early period of Western Zhou (around 3,000 years ago) to the Han dynasty (around 2,000 years ago), or over a period of one thousand years. Tonglushan is considered to be the cradle of ancient bronze culture in China.
In the process of extracting ore resources from under Tonglu Mountain, it was discovered that this was a large-scale refining or smelting site from ancient times. Archaeologists have to date excavated and evaluated remains from Western Zhou to Western Han periods.They have found different mining structures and support systems for several hundred wells that include vertical wells, slanted wells, blind wells and so on, as well as more than one thousand implements for mining and ore production and various implements of daily life. In addition, they discovered seventeen Song-dynasty smelting furnaces. On entering the front door of the Museum, one passes around a mammoth malachite boulder. The 1,100 square meter main hall of the site is then before one's eyes. Below the railing, looking down, one can see more than one hundred relatively well preserved vertical wells or shafts, level corridors or lanes, blind wells, slanted wells, criss-crossed mine tunnels. There are twisting channels for waterways and wooden water troughs, there are various implements of the trade spread below one's eyes. All of this makes one feel as if the workers in had just departed.
In certain places, pits and corridors have been reconstructed to allow visitors to go inside and experience for a moment the sensations of those who worked here 2,000 years ago. On walls surrounding the main hall, traditional architectural techniques have reconstructed the original posts and brackets of the Spring and Autumn Period in Chinese history.
Due to the wealth of copper ore in this location, and the long history of refining ore here, the amount of waste ore from the process is noticeable. To this day, on the surface of the ground surrounding the ore lode, there are more than 400,000 tons of ancient remains of slag. It is estimated that this site produced 8-100,000 tons of copper. The quantity of materials at the site are testimony to the outstanding technology of refining and production methods of ancient China.