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The Wilderness Mine in Varuträsk

Varuträsk vildmarksgruva

The Skellefteå ore field extends from Skellefteå by the coast approximately 180 km inland. There are some hundred known ore bodies in the field, of which some 30 have been mined. One body is situated in Varuträsk, between Skellefteå and Boliden. Mining went on here between 1933 and 1946. At one time there were as many as 20 workers employed here. The ore body turned out to be unusually rich in minerals – more than 50 different minerals have been found here, among them lithium and cesium. There is even a mineral that has been named after Varuträsk – varulite!

The Wilderness Mine is built round the old mine in Varuträsk which was closed down in 1946. It was filled with water when the pumps were turned off. After years of torpor, the old mine was finally emptied of water, and we can now walk dry-shod among all the minerals!

Guided tours above as well as below ground are available, and you can also hunt for minerals among the refuse heaps. A mini mine is provided for children where they can try drilling and blasting, and discover what it could be like to work in a mine. Refreshments and food in Gruvstugan.

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