Island, Bangka-Belitung province, west-central Indonesia. Located off the eastern coast of Sumatra across the Bangka Strait, it is separated from Belitung (Billiton) island by Gaspar Strait. Its area is 4,375 sq mi (11,330 sq km); the chief town is Pangkalpinang. The sultan of Palembang ceded Bangka to the British in 1812; they in turn exchanged it with the Dutch in 1814 for property in India. Occupied by Japan during World War II, it became part of Indonesia in 1949. Bangka is one of the world's chief tin-producing centres.