Mining

rudariMining in the district of Ivanec has a long tradition. The oldest finding of an iron ore can be found in the valley of a small river Željeznica, with the trace of iron cinder that reflect upon industry of melting iron ore in ancient history. Iron ore loess was being dug under the chapel “Sveti Duh" (chapel of St. Ghost) beside “Vražija pećina” (Devil’s cave), which was used for painting. In “Tamni dol” (Dark valley) above Prigorec was location of iron manganese ore dig site, that was confirmed by finding sites of abandoned pits and traces of different ores in them.

Mining riches had attracted different miners to Ivanec, and there are indications that in the past there was mining colony from Germanic and French miners.

First geological survey in north western Croatia was conducted by Austrian geologist in middle of 19th century, and knowledge of structures and deposit of minerals in that area had enabled quicker exploitation. Different corporations from Vienna, Budapest and Belgium were involved in exploitation of our mineral riches.

During 19th century, a mine on northern hillside of Ivančica was in operation, excavating ores of zinc and lead in the area of Velika obres. At those time deposits of minerals in the mine, “Krasevski zviri” had been estimated at 20000 tones of ore. It was abandoned because of penetration of large quantities of water and lesser and lesser quantities of ore.

With this finding site, in close relations, was a zinc foundry in Kuljevčici, which was in operations from 1863. until 1883., when it was closed because of shortage of ore from Ivančica and expensive transport of ore from district of Koruška.

In the beginning of the 20th century in Ivanec mining is developing intensively. Finding sites of brown coal are estimated at 100 years of exploitation. Many of mining shafts had been opened and 800 workers had been working in mines until Second World War.

Excavation of brown coal had been ended in 1962, and production in coalmines in districts of Ivanec and Ladanje had been terminated in 1975. Exploited sums of coal until 1945 is estimated at 3, 5 millions tons of coal, and from 1945 till 1975, at 7, 8 million tones of coal.

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