Laisvallgruvan – Short background

The main in Laisvall seen from the mountain "Nadok". July 2004.
Photo © Maria Söderberg.

The largest lead mine in Europe closed down 2001.
It was located in Laisvall, a small community near the Arctic Circle.

The mine was unique. 300 kilometres of underground roads, due to the fact that it was located below a lake.
The mine started in 1943. The whole community of Arjeplog (4 000 people) was more or less dependent on the industrial work.
The mine employed 400 people, about 200 more could run small businesses in connection with the mine.

The closing down of the mine took many years, 2001 – 2005.
Still the huge headframe, made of cement and built 1952, with the height of 86 meters is there. In August 2006 it will be blown up.

The leadmine of Laisvall has never really been exposed to media or museums.
In the shadows of the big minefields in Kiruna and Malmberget, beside the head mine of Boliden it has never been of great interest to the rest of the world.

In between this particular story , I d like to tell something of the general story about Laisvall, possibly about some of the following;

  • The nature, the history of the Samic people and immigrants in the area
  • Silikos. The disasterous desease of 1940
  • Klondyke fever of the inner area of South Lapland
  • Death in the mine
  • Main society, established and left
  • Love and passion, in the mine and in the society

Maria Söderberg