Norway Occupations:MiningEdit This Page

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Mining is the act or process of removing ores, coal, and minerals from the earth. In Norway, in additions to other ores and minerals, there has been mining for iron ore, cobalt ore, copper pyrite, sulphur pyrite, zinc, lead, silver and gold. When mining became an important source of revenue for Norway in the 1600’s, capital and skilled workmen were brought in from Germany. Gradually Norwegian competence was accomplished. In 1754 the first school of mining in Europe was started at Kongsberg. Norway had a meaningful mining industry until the 1960’s. Today the only place where traditional mining takes place on Svalvard, but today this most important resources which are mined are stone, gravel, sand, and clay.

Middle Ages

  • The first evidence of mining in Norway is found in the Oslo area from the 13th to 16th centuries.


  • 1524 - King Frederik I gave royal privileges to Bishop Mogens of Hamar for the Gullnes Copper Mine in Telemark. This mine lasted until 1537.
  • 1538 - Christian III, after conferring with German miners, established regulations for obtaining a license to work a claim.
  • 1538 - The first registered iron mine was at Hadeland.
  • 1539 - The first formal regulations of the mining industry were established in Norway and were patterned after Saxon mining laws and written in German.
  • 1540’s - The first iron works were established in Fossum (Skien) and in Hakadal.
  • 1556 - Akersberg mine and mines in Telemark are mentioned in Agricola’s publication.
  • 1500’s - Copper was mined on Ytterøy in Trondheim fjord.


  • 1600 - Copper mines were in existence in Trøndelag from the beginning of the 1600’s.
  • 1622 - The first effective smelting furnace was built at Bærum. Other smelting furnaces were in operation in the Oslo areas and especially around Arendal by the end of the century.
  • 1623 - Discovery of silver in Sandsvær.
  • 1644 - Røros Copper mine began.
  • 1652 - Løkken mine began.
  • 1600’s - During this time Holland began to require stone along their seacoast and to build new dykes. Good quality stone (gneiss and granite) of the right size and quantity was found along the fjords of southern Norway. The amount of stone exported to Holland was so immense that it is said that many parts of the city of Amsterdam lie on Norwegian ground.


  • From the 1700’s to the turn of the last century, the mining industry was at the heart of the Norwegian economy and very important source of income in many communities.
  • 1713 - Mining for copper at Selbu in Trøndelag began.
  • 1737 - Slate was taken at Alunverket along Oslo fjord south of the city.
  • 1741 - Copper mining was begun in Folldal.
  • 1753 - Marble was quarried at Lier near Drammen and among other places was delivered to Marmorkirken (Marble Church) in Copenhagen.
  • 1773 - Cobalt mine was established as a royal mine.
  • 1789 - Cobalt was also mine at Åsterudtjern at Holleia in Ringerike.


  • The Napoleonic Wars made it necessary for the king to mortgage the royal cobalt mine called Blaafarveværket to the Swedish merchant Peter Wilhelm Berg. In 1821 the mine was sold to a German-English consortium. The mine became Norway’s largest industry (until 1848) and the world’s largest producer of cobalt blue.
  • 1842 - After the fire in Hamburg, Germany, stone from Grefsen and Grorud in Oslo were exported for use as bridges, stairs, building blocks, etc.
  • 1870’s - Iddefjord granite dominated as a building material especially for bridges and streets.
  • 1858-1900 - Sulphur pyrites were mined.
    • 1858 - Lysaker Chemical Company
    • 1865 - Sulpher pyrite min at Vigsnes and later at Varalsøy on Stord.
    • Sulitjelma mine began operation
    • 1890’s - Kjøli and Killingdal, north of Røros
    • About 1900 - Løkken and Folldal mines
  • Nickel was mined beginning about 1850 at the following locations:
    • Ringerike, west of Tyristrand
    • Bamble
    • Askim
    • Sigdal
    • Evje
    • Senja
    • Skjækerdalen
  • Chromium production started in Trondheim. Most of this ore came from the Røros and Alvdal areas.
  • Phosphate production began in the middle of the century where it was found and mined in the Kragerø area. In 1872 phosphate was found at Ødegården in Bamble.


  • Iron Ore
    • 1907 - A/S Sydvaranger was established at Kirkenes.
    • 1946 - Norwegian Iron Works was established in 1946.
    • 1964 - Magnetite and Hematite was extracted from ore from Dunderlandsdalen. At Mo i Rana.
  • Titanium
    • Kragerø area
    • Blåfjell mine in Sokndal
    • Storgangen in Eigersund area
    • Tellnes began producton in 1960. A/S Titania still continues with this production.
  • Molybden
    • Flekkefjord area
    • Kvina and Knaben in Vest-Agder
    • Dalen and Bandaksli in Telemark


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