|Location:||10km from Skellefteå.|
|Fee:||Adults SEK 100. |
|Classification:||Fee Mining Pegmatite with various minerals|
Vildmarksgruvan, Varuträsk 1, 93198 Skellefteå, Tel: +46-910-50040, Fax: +46-910-50010.
Booking: Upplevelser i Norr, Tel: +46-915-21010, Fax: +46-910-21091. 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.
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|1932||Harald Holmgren discovers the pegmatite.|
|1946||mining activities ended.|
Pegmatite is a sort of rock which is formed by lava, the begin of an volcano, which never makes it to the surface. If it stays very deep, the hot lava needs a very long time to cool. This gives the numerous minerals of the lava enough time to get hard, one after the other, the one with the highest melting point first. The minerals becoming hard aggregate to crystals, and become bigger and bigger the more time they have. So very big crystals like here are rare and a sign for a very slow cooling process.
Vildmarksgruvan (Wildernessmine) is located at Varuträsk, and dubbed one of the world's most mineral-rich places. The former mine has been known by mineral collectors for decades, with about 70 minerals found here. Many of those minerals are quite rare and thus wanted. It is even the locus typicus (type locale) for one mineral, the varulite.
The history of Varuträsk starts in 1932, when Harald Holmgren discovered the pegmatite dyke. At first the rocks were not mined for the minerals. The fieldspar and other rocks were used for the furnaces of the Boliden company, they were used to clear the copper.
Today the abandoned mine is a tourist destination named Varuträsk Mineral Park which offers underground mine tours and the possibility to collect minerals. The visitors taking the underground mine tour are equipped with hard hats, overalls and wellingtons. Then the mining operations of the 1930s and 1940s with the mining technology of the time are shown. A special feature of this tours are the sparkling rock faces with their wealth of rare minerals. Mineral collecting is not free, but visitors may buy a bucket and take with them anything that fits in the bucket. On the surface there are more mining related displays including a forge, which is operated to show the old craft of forging. There is a stone polishing workshop where visitors can try to olish their own finds. In the main building with the café and an exhibition of loacal minerals.