Island, Bangka-Belitung province, west-central Indonesia. Lying on the Karimata Strait between the islands of Bangka (west) and Borneo (northeast), it is situated between the South China Sea (north) and Java Sea (south). It is some 55 mi (90 km) long and 45 mi (70 km) wide, with an area of about 1,850 sq mi (4,800 sq km). The main town and port is Tanjungpandan. Belitung was ceded to the British in 1812 by the sultan of Palembang, Sumatra, but Britain recognized the Dutch claim in 1824. The island became part of Indonesia after World War II. It is important for its tin mines, discovered in 1851.
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