Occasional relics of industrial heritage remain though, including this fantastic factory which I spotted out cycling recently.
Someone helped translate these internal entrance signs - it's Changsha Zinc Company.
China is the world's biggest producer of the stuff, and the smelting process creates significant heavy metal pollution.
Not knowing much Chinese, it's been pretty hard to gain any specific history on the place. The original signs are in traditional Chinese script - mainland China moved to simplified Chinese after 1952 so it must have been built before then. From the state of decay and rust it probably closed well over 20 years ago.
What was found was a whole quarter of abandoned heavy industry - furnaces, tanks, pipes, shafts, silos, stores - all rusting away.
Near the entry point, an old bus next to some workshop/store buildings
En route to the main factory area
This room was beaut.
Raw materials must have come up this shaft into the above room.
Room at the end of the shaft - looks like this is where the material originated.
Approaching the core factory workings
Pushed a door which clicked open - this room felt as if it'd not been entered in decades.