Utö Iron Mines

Nyköpingsgruvan


Useful Information

Location: Utö Island, Stockholm Archipelago, Haninge, Stockholms län.
Open: Mining Museum: Summer daily. [2006]
Fee:  
Classification:  Iron mine.
Light: n/a
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Bibliography: J. Langhof, D. Holtstam, L. Gustafsson (2000): Chiavennite and zoned genthelvite-helvite as late-stage minerals of the Proterozoic LCT pegmatites at Utö, Stockholm, Sweden. GFF 122, 207-212. Stockholm. ISSN 1103-5897
Address: Utö Iron Mines, Utö Tourist Office, Utö Turistbyrå, 13056 Gruvbryggan, Utö, Tel: +46-8-50157410, Fax: +46-8-50157420, Cell: +46-708-157490. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:12:18 $

History

 
~800island first inhabited by vikings.
~1150iron ore discovered, mining started.
1607first written account of the mine.
1624nine mines in work.
1694Matthias Wefwerstedt came to the island.
1719island sieged by Russians, mines, houses, seeds, and cattle destroyed.
1817Element Lithium first found in a sample from Utö by Arfwedson, a student of Berzelius.
1879mine closed.
1913Holmquistite discovered.

Geology

The Nyköpingsgruvan iron formation is skarn, which contains high amounts of iron, but also Lithium and a little silver. Located on the northern part of Utö Island, there are two pegmatite bodies that transect the iron ore. The complex formation is very rich in minerals.


Description

The small island Utö in the archipelago of Stockholm is famous for its iron ore. The ore was mined as early as the 12th century, and so this is the oldest iron mine of Sweden. It is also famous for the discovery of Lithium, as the skarn ore is rich in Lithium. The first time this element was extracted was from a sample from Utö. This was done by Arfwedson, a student of Berzelius, in 1817.

Utö is type locality for four minerals: Holmquistite, Manganotantalite, Petalite, and Spodumene. Samples of those rare minerals are on display in the local mining museum. It also shows photos of the island and its inhabitants, mining tools and exhibits on geography, flora and fauna.

At first the iron ore was mined in open cast mines, with a very old method. The rocks were first heated up with a wood fire and then cooled rapidly with cold water. It got cracks and was easy to remove. Nevertheless the work was hard and the wages low, part of them paid in alcohol. The owners often had problems to find labourers, so they used criminals who had to work in the mines during their sentence. Some of the workers were too weak to climb up on the ladders, so they spent the nights in the mine.


See also


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