Fig. Cannon made from copper alloys. Big business once upon a time.
Sweden has quite an awsome history when it comes to mining. I cannot remember the exact numbers, but during the European renaissance and some time in to the 19th century we stood for almost all of Europes copper production – and that, together with Iron mining in Bergslagen and lumberproduction for ships and furniture was basically the foundation of Swedens economical (and in the early days) military success. Copper in those early days was essential for making stuff like cannons.
Without it we would probably never have had what we had when it comes to living standards of today and so on. Unlike many (most) western European countries our welth had no base in colonialism, but in trade of our own raw materials. Yes we had colonies, but none that provided any real income.
Mining today produce more tonnes of ore, but from just a handful of mines. In the 19th century there where thousands of mines in Sweden, today only a couple. However, we are still one of Europes leading producers in many types of metals – but “Swedish steel” doesnt quite have that same sound it once did.
But things are changing. Old mines are opening everywhere again and new ones are prospected. Even despite the global financial problems. If we really wanted to – Sweden could be very rich from mining once again.
Sweden was once globally famous for its Iron and Copper. I hope we will be that again. Since that will lead to more geology jobs. 🙂 But first many laws must be changed. The downfall of mining in the 1970, 80s and 90s lead to new stricter laws prevent prospecting and mining in many cases. Those laws are no friend of mine. (Sorry for the pun)