My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

A visit to Håksberg’s mining field

I decided to continue my series of pictures of old mines that I began in March and taking a trip to Håksberg was the thing to; both Blötberget and Håksberg will be operated by the same company if everything goes according to plan. The weather and the visibility were not the best so there are a number of things on my “Next time list”. Still I think it’s best to keep it that way. Taking unnecessary risks is not an option and fences are there for a reason if you ask me.

When I looked at the images after having processed them, I felt that I wanted to give them a touch of black and white photos from the 70’s so I added a little grain and decided to increase the contrast. What I don’t want to include is political thoughts. Photographs from the 70’s often had a political message in them, but my photography has nothing to do with politics – I let people think and feel what they want when looking at my pictures.

Anyhow, there are written accounts that verify mining here since the 1580’s and we know fore sure that there has been mines here since the 17th century. Of course there has been ups and downs during the centuries – there has been bad times before and Håksberg is actually a system of several mines connected together somewhere deep down.

Håksberg’s mining field was also one of the “German mines”, in other words it was one of the Swedish mines that had German owners and part of that period happened to be World War II. After the war the mine came under sequestration and the Swedish State established a company – AB Statsgruvor – to which those mines were sold. The money was given to the allied with the explicit purpose that it should be handed out to German households.

AB Statsgruvor began a cooperation with the private company LKAB and the company was transformed to a daughter company to LKAB and remained so until it ceased operations.

The mining came to an end here in 1979 and the pumps were removed in 1981. The mine went to sleep while waiting for the world market price on iron ore to raise to a level when operations would be feasible again and that is where we seem to be now. If all goes as planned, the mine will open again in 2014 which means that the mining tradition is taken up again even though the methods are modern and probably very different from what they were over 30 years ago.


3 responses

  1. tms

    Great series, Staffan. I think that the white skies work extremely well here.

    30/07/2011 at 16:23

  2. Fascinating photos and narrative, Staffan!

    31/07/2011 at 06:45

  3. Staffan H

    tms: Thanks a million. It made me very happy to learn that the white skies worked here. I had my concerns when postprocessing the images, but concluded they would kind of balance the harsh grey and black and am grateful to you for the confirmation. 😉

    Montucky: Thank you. There are days when I think subjects like these are some kind of controlled passion. It sounds weird, I know, but I think you know what I mean. 🙂

    31/07/2011 at 09:49

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