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Öster Silvberg Mining District, Säter, Dalarna, Sweden


Part of the Precambrian sulfide province of Central Sweden.

Öster Silvberg is likely the oldest and second most important silver mining district in Sweden (just behind Sala). First mentioned in an act from the year 1367 in a way that it must have been active (much?) earlier. In 1375 it was suggested that a mint should be erected. Later on in the 15th century a considerable production was maintained, figures indicate a yearly production exceeding one metric ton of silver.
Storgruvan (main mine, E Field) was abandoned in 1597, and production continued only on the less important western field. In 1500-1503, however, the mines were reported inactive because of severe cave-ins and one thought it might be impossible to restart production. The heyday was definitely over but some small production came from resmelting of old slag heaps and in 1505 a smaller new deposit was found close to Vikagruvan.
Authorities tried at several occasions (eg 1527, 1544, 1566) to get the district back in production, but in vain, although some silver was produced (no figures 1506-1635, exception 1608; 1,1kg). After 1641 the only serious attempts were made about 1750-1760, and the total production of silver since 1630 is estimated at only 91,5 kg.
It was wellknown that the ore contained gold (eg from a speech by J De La Gardie 1636). In 1695 Nils Gripenhielm managed to produce some gold from silver and a couple of Ducats were minted. Tests made indicated that the silver contained 9,7-12,5% Au.
Ore itself contained roughly 1000g/ton silver (Övre gruvan, analyse 1604 in Sala).
Storgruvan was measured to be 192 m deep at a visit in 1757 but cave-ins had filled deeper levels. Geijer (1965) indicate that it must have been around 220 m, judged by the extensive workings.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
var: Oligoclase

'Chlorite Group'
var: Pennine

var: Argentiferous Galena

30 entries listed. 18 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


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- Tegengren, F (1924) - Sveriges ädlare malmer och bergverk, SGU ser Ca 17
- Geijer, (1965): Types of sulfide ore and associated wall rock alteration in the Öster-Silvberg District, Central Sweden. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning. Serie C nr 603 [Årsbok 59 nr 3], 3-32
- Allen, R.L., Lundström, I., Ripa, M., Simeonov, A. & Christofferson, H., (1996): Facies analysis of a 1.9 Ga, continental margin, back-arc, felsic caldera province with diverse Zn-Pb-Ag-(Cu-Au) sulfide and Fe oxide deposits, Bergslagen region, Sweden. Economic Geology 91, 979–1008

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