Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The "iron rush" in Swedish Lapland at the end of the 19th century

Malmberget ("The Ore Mountain") in Swedish Lapland has been a major center of iron ore excavation since the late 19th century. Iron ore mining at Malmberget began already in 1741, but modern large scale mining was introduced when the 203 km long railway line between Malmberget and the port city of Luleå was opened in 1888.

The first years of the mining boom bore a striking resemblance to the conditions in North America during the gold rushes. There were lots of job opportunities, but very few dwellings. Many of the miners had to live in shacks built from used dynamite crates.

At the turn of the century the population of the Malmberget mining community had already grown to 7000.

In 1907 the state owned company LKAB took over the mining activities, and continues to operate the mines until this day. Currently LKAB employs around 1,000 people at Malmberget, of whom 900 work in mining, processing and administration.

Miners at the Fredrika mine at Malmberget (about 1900).

A coffee-house for miners.

The center of the Gällivare municipality, of which Malmberget was a part, at the turn of the century.

The ore was brough by train to the port of Luleå. At the turn of the century most of the ore was exported to Germany.

A panorama of Luleå (about 1900).

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for posting this information.