Tellnes ilmenite quarry

Open-pit mining site in Sokndal

How to get there

Parking: Access is only available by attending a pre-booked tour by bus with a qualified guide.

Accessibility: 1 hour by car or bus from Egersund or Flekkefjord. Easy walk from the parking place.

Duration: The visit itself takes 1 – 1,5 hours by bus to the viewpoint of the quarry and into Hommedal (crusher, industrial buildings and laboratory) and to the exit.

Special conditions:

  • Leave nothing but footprints!
What Three Words

Geology and nature

In Tellnes, you get to experience the world’s largest ilmenite-northern intrusion, and as it is economically viable, it is called an ore. The Malm intrusion still contains more than 300 million tons of ore, after almost 60 years of operation, and there are plans for more than 60 years of operation in the future. The ore is slightly caving to the east. The quarry is about 2 km long, 1 km wide and 200 meters deep. The lower pallet is about 40. Through the quarry and the ore, two basalt intrusions are approximately 300 million years younger than the ore (dated about 618 million years), which crystallized approximately 920 million years ago. The three minerals ilmenite, orthopyroxen and plagioclasmos makes up most of the Ilmenite Noritt ore with about 1/3 each. That is, at optimal production, you will receive about 1 million tonnes of ilmenite product if you tipped more than 3 million tons of ore in the coarse crush. The side rock on both sides of the ore is anorthosite. The anorthosite, which consists essentially of the mineral plagioclas, crystallized about 10 million years before the ore invaded it. This occurred about 20-25 kilometers under the Earths crust at the end of the Sveconorvegic orogenesen.

Culture and history

Titania’s history dates back to 1902 when the company was founded as a development company to look at the ore deposits in the area. Ore was taken from Blåfjell (location 37) and Laksedal, and sent to sample smelting in different places. In 1916 the construction of the plant started at Sandbekk and a few years later the first boatload with ilmenite from Jøssingfjord left the quarry. Finished ilmenite was transported from Sandbekk to Jøssingfjord. Biproducts like silicon and magnetite went by electric trains to Rekefjord for dispatch there. Production at Sandbekk lasted until 1965, and at the most, 450 men worked in the various production steps to investigate the ore in Sandbekk. Sandbekk was driven as a mine and there are several tens of kilometers of mining in the mountain below Sandbekk. In 1960 Titania started on Tellnes in an open quarry. Production took off and in prime years, more than 13 million tonnes of stone have been moved to Tellnes, of which almost 3 million tons of ore. In good periods, 300 employees at Tellnes have worked in a man-dominated working environment, but over the years more and more women have entered the workforce. The dimensions of Tellnes are impressive with the huge quarry and the big machines. The dumps can take up to 180 tons on one load and the loaders can load up to 30 tonnes in one move.

Sustainable mining:

Mining has been the source of conflicts throughout history. On one hand, we need minerals and stone in the industry to produce products we rely on and to build roads and infrastructure, while on the other hand mining has caused major environmental problems in many places. Nearly 40% of all business activities in the world depend on resources we receive from the Earth. Mining will never be completely sustainable, but the use of waste mass and deposited masses for different purposes and with increased reuse, the company can be practically sustainable in a few years time.



Pictures from Tellnes