Flogbergets gruva


Useful Information

Location: Smedjebacken.
(60.147587, 15.302967)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: MineIron Mine ExplainFire-setting
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Kulturförvaltningen Smedjebacken kommun, Flogberget 1, 77191 Smedjebacken, Tel: +46-240-660287. E-mail:
Stiftelsen Ekomuseum Bergslagen, Nils Nils gata 7, 771 53 Ludvika, Cell: +46-70-376-74-25. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

16th century begin of mining.
1873 begin of larger scale mining.
1899 end of mining.
1906 mine reopened, great inauguration by the then Crown Prince Gustaf (King Gustaf V).
1918 mine finally closed because of the post-war depression.
1980s opened as a show mine.

Geology

The 350 m long and 45 m wide area contains seams of calcareous skarn iron ore.

Description

photography
Map from 1906. Public Domain.

Flogberget was named after an old Swedish legend. Floga is sea fire, a phosphorescence of microorganisms in the water, which according to the legend comes from the mouth of a flying dragon. Many people believed that floga is a sign for a rich seam of ore.

The mining area Flogberget has about 15 abandoned mines, originally opened during the 16th century. The mines were located on a hilltop and drained by adits to the surroundings. This was fortunate for the mining, as this simple and old technique made drainage pumps obsolete.

During the times three different mining methods were used here. The oldest method used fire to make the rock brittle. Huge piles of wood were erected in front of the rock face and burnt. The heat caused the rock to expand until it cracked by the pressure and the brittle rock and ore could easily be removed. The miners used crowbars and sledgehammers. During the 18th century gunpowder was introduced, later replaced by dynamite. This method was much more effective and increased the mined ore. And the third mining technique was the introduction of electricity during the 20th century.

After the mine had been closed in 1899 it was reopened in 1906 with a great inauguration. The ceremony was held by the then Crown Prince Gustaf, later King Gustaf V, because the mine had been gifted with electricity. A crusher and an ore-dressing plant were installed, making the hard work easier and increasing production. Also, a new enrichment and briquette plant had been built. The modern machines crushed and separated the coarse ore. The fine-grained dressed ore was mixed with water and compressed into small pieces by a brick press. A 50 m long furnace turned those pellets into briquettes which were carried to Hagge station with a cable-way and by rail. There the ore was smelted in a blast furnace. This method was invented here by Gustav Gröndahl.

The Stora Flogbergsgruvan (Old Flogberg Mine), a huge open cast mine, is today flooded. It is the starting point of a mining trail which leads to the still dry open-cast mines nearby which are linked by tunnels. The Nordvall gallery is a former mine tunnel open to the public. Inside is a multimedia display. At Flogbergsspelet, a tour with actors in period costumes dramatizes the time when the mine was still open. Those tours take place weekly during summer and are very popular, especially among children. For children there is also a small theme park where they can work in the forge and with wrought iron. They also offer guided tours during summer, but only in Swedish, and it seems to be tricky to participate. They are planned on a short term, published on their websites, and you have to book online in advance. There no regular tour dates, so we think it's almost impossible for tourists to participate. But probably you are lucky, check in at the Café Gruvstugan or the tourist office. Unfortunately we were not even able to find out when the café is open, but we guess "Summer" means mid-June to mid-August.