Stråssa Mine

Björkstedt, K. -A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 22
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION Strassa lies in the central part of Bergslagen, a tradi¬tional mining district, on the eastern side of the Stora Valley at an elevation of about 200 m above sea level. A railway siding runs between the mine and the Stora railway station from which there are railway connections to the shipping port and iron and steel works in Oxelosund, about 224 km away. The distance to the provin¬cial capital Orebro is about 60 km. The climate is typi¬cal for this part of central Sweden and is illustrated by the diagram of monthly precipitation and temperatures for the years 1968-1975 (Fig. 1). HISTORY There is no certain information as to when the Strassa mine was first worked, but it is known from sur¬viving accounts of mine inspectors that there were smelt¬ing works in operation in nearby villages in the 12th century. An example is the Gusselhytta ore smelting works, 10 km south of Strassa, which dates from this period. Around the year 1540 there were two smelting works in Strassa, the Upper Karberg and Lower Karberg works. Ore for these smelters was probably taken from Strassa and from the adjacent Blanka mine. In the year 1624 Strassa is mentioned by the painter Jons Nils Krook in an account of the iron mines in the Linde mining district (Linde Bergslags Jarngruvor). Several mines were listed in the area, the deepest being about 30 m. An impressive power installation is mentioned in 1639, including a piston system of lashed poles for transmit¬ting power from the Stora River to the Strassa fields. Its length was 2670 m. Common ground comprising about 20.2 km2 (5000 acres) of forest was allocated in 1689 for the furtherance of mining operations. Until the beginning of this century only the rich cen¬tral parts of the ore body were mined and these yielded, after handpicking, lump ore suitable for smelter feed. An example of the ore grades from these early times is an analysis of ore from the "Big Mine" (Storgruvan) from the year 1873: 48.5% Fe, 0.008% P, and 0.06% S. This same year a total of about 18 000 t was ex¬tracted from the Strassa mine. OWNERSHIP The mine was owned and run until 1874 by a min¬ing association made up of 119 so-called "bergsman," who were homesteaders often engaged in agriculture and timber-cutting as well. In that year the Strossa Grufvebolag (Mining Co.) was founded. In 1906 it was con¬verted into a joint stock company, the Strossa Gruveaktiebolag. This was acquired in 1907 by Metallurgiska AB for the implementation of Gustav Grondal's beneficiating and briquetting methods, for which the Strassa ore was well suited. The same year saw the completion of a new ore dressing plant with an annual production of 46 000 t of ore concentrate. In 1911 the mine passed to new hands, and in 1913 it was purchased by an Austrian company. Extensive new installations were made and in 1915 a new dressing and briquetting plant was completed with twice the capacity of the old one. In 1917 the Strassa mine was acquired by Granges. Be¬cause of unfavorable business trends and technical diffi¬culties, mining operations were brought to a close in 1923. Pumping kept the mine free of water until 1933 but it was completely filled ten years later. Up to 1950 the surface buildings and installations remained intact but the large dressing and briquetting plant burned to the ground in that year. Today only the machine shop re¬mains from this earlier period of operation, now housing parts of the Mineral Processing Laboratory. The decision to take up mining operations again was made in 1955 and construction work began the follow¬ing year. Of the old installation, only the "southern shaft" could be used for some development drifting after it had been completed with a new headframe. Other¬wise, all the buildings and installations required for the operations had to be rebuilt. New installations ready by 1960 were office and personnel facilities, a new shaft and headframe, a sorting and concentrating plant, a macadam plant, settling basins, pump stations, and a railway and yard with transport equipment. The instal¬lation was completed with two plants
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