Old Urstad mining site opened on Geology day
Official opening of Urstad mines
The geopark location Urstad mine at Hidra in Flekkefjord municipality was officially opened on 19th September and thus we celebrated Geology Day. Dedicated locals were eager to share about their own cultural history and we also had a chance to observe rare minerals in the mine. Many also liked the Norwegian Geological Survey (NGU) brochure on Norwegian rock types!
About Urstad mines
The mines are part of a pegmatite passage. Pegmatite is a very coarse-grained rock that is usually formed by crystallization of residual solutions of magma. This residual solution may contain some water and many different exciting minerals may be formed. In pegmatites one can find meter-sized crystals.
On Hidra, feldspar and quartz were completely visible in several places during the day in coarse-grained passages called pegmatite passages. Mining at Hidra started in the 1850s and the last mine closed down approx. 1930.
In the Urstad mine, in addition to feldspar and quartz, several other minerals can be seen, such as biotite and muscovite (crow silver), magnetite (magnetic), ilmenite (white pigment), grenades (various types) and the radioactive mineral aeshynite.
Now the Urstad mine has finally been made available to the public. The mines have been cleared and parking area has been established. Welcome to an exciting, and for many unknown, journey in the history of Magma Geopark!
About Geology Day
Geology Day is a large national initiative that is carried out by enthusiasts around the country, with the main purpose of getting children and young people interested in geology. In total, there have been over 20,000 visitors at 70-80 different events, and about 1,200 work hours are spent by volunteers each autumn. Events have been held in squares, museums, mines, schools, kindergartens, at convenience stores and many geotour trips.