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Falu Gruva Earthcache

A cache by Thoto Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/15/2010
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Falu Gruva Earthcache

I would be very thankful if you could write you email and log in English. Nevertheless also Swedish email/logs are welcome.

This earthcache would like to bring you to the Unesco world heritage site Falu Gruva. The Great Copper Mountain was a mine in Falun, Sweden, that operated for a millennium from the 10th century to 1992. It produced as much as two thirds of Europe's copper needs and helped fund many of Sweden's wars in the 17th century. Technological developments at the mine had a profound influence on mining globally for two centuries. Since 2001 it has been designated a Unesco world heritage site as well as a museum.

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Falun Mine consists of the open-cast mine called the Great Pit, an underground visitor’s mine and several small mines and shafts alongside the Great Pit, besides a maze of galleries (tunnels), underground chambers and sunk shafts in the rock around and under the mine area. The total length of the cavities is about 80 km, of which some 33 km is above today’s water level of approximately –220 m. The maximum depth of the mine is 600 m and the deepest shaft, Oscar, is 440 m. Falun Mine has been worked since the end of the eighth century.
The Great Pit was created in 1687 by a huge cave-in. Dividing walls and bottoms of three former open-cast pits collapsed to leave one huge hole. Since then the pit has been extended through continued mining and is now 95 metres deep and 350 metres wide.

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Sweden had a virtual monopoly on copper which it retained throughout the 17th century. The only other country with a comparable copper output was Japan, but European imports from Japan were insignificant. Anyway compared with modern standards, the production was not large. The peak production barely reached 3,000 tonnes of copper, falling to less than 2,000 tonnes by 1665 and from 1710-1720 it was barely 1,000 tonnes per year. Present world wide copper production is near 15 million tons per year. Copper production was declining during the 18th century and the mining company began diversifying. It supplemented the copper extraction with iron and timber production. Production of the iconic falu red paint began in earnest. In the 19th century, iron and forest products continued to grow their importance. In 1881 gold was discovered in the Great Copper Mountain, resulting in a short lived gold rush. A total of 5 tonnes of gold would eventually be produced.
But there was no escaping the fact that the mine was no longer economically viable. On December 8, 1992 the last shot was fired in the mine and all commercial mining ceased. Today the mine is owned by the Stora Kopparberget foundation which operates the museum and tours.

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To log this earthcache, perform the following tasks:

  • Make a mine walk around the Great Pit (1,5 km) and use the information boards along your walk to answer the following questions:
    • What is the depth of the Lovisamalmen?
    • How many tons of pyrite, zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold were produced in the mines?
    • What was the first name of the mine?
  • Go to the lookout point at the above coordinates. Please take optional a photo of you or your GPS at the lookout point.

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