The Mines of Gladhammar

i-297d1d91309421b3e34235f9f1696fd0-gladhammar.jpg

The mines of Gladhammar near Västervik in SE Sweden were worked at least from the 16th century to the 19th century, producing iron, copper and cobalt. Now they pose a big environmental problem because of heavy metals leaching out of the spoil heaps into a nearby lake. A project is afoot to do something about the site, removing all the spoil (!) to a safer location, and so my colleagues from the Kalmar County Museum have been called in to do some early industrial archaeology prior to the cleanup. Here’s a fascinating short film they’ve shot from a basket lowered with a crane into one of the mines. And here’s a speleological report (a 7 MB pdf file) on what the mines look like, crammed full of excellent photographs by Sven Gunnvall and Björn Gunnvall.

[More blog entries about , , , ; , , ]

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Mines of Gladhammar

  1. Bunch of (most likely) dumb questions.
    If there is still so much left in the spoil can it be reprocessed commercially?
    Are those mines viable (again) with modern technology?
    Why not put the spoil back where it came from?

    Like

  2. There have been attempts after the closing of the mines to find viable ore deposits again, but nothing has popped up. So I guess the tailings aren’t viable either.

    Who knows, maybe the mine would be viable in an area with cheap manual labour and looser health & safety restrictions.

    Dropping the tailings back into the mine is a bad idea because it is equipped with a drainage tunnel that empties into the aforementioned lake. And I guess it would be impossible to keep the mine from leaking even if the drainage tunnel was plugged, as they actually plan to do.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s