Sulitjelma Besøksgruver

Sulitjelma Visiting Mines

Useful Information

Location: Sandneshaugen 21, N-8230 Sulitjelma.
Northern part of Nordland, close to the Border to Sweden. From Fauske E6 to Finneid, turn left on FV 830 to the west along Nedrevatnet, Ovrevatnet, to Langvatnet. Sulitjelma is located at the shores of Langvatnet.
(67.131728, 16.088251)
Open: Sulitjelma Visitor Mine: reservation 2 weeks in sdvance required.
Sulitjelma Mining Museum: 25-JUN to 19-AUG daily 11-17.
Fee: Sulitjelma Visitor Mine: Base Price NOK 3000, Adults NOK 80, Children (6-16) NOK 40.
Sulitjelma Mining Museum: Adults NOK 80, Children free, Students NOK 20.
Groups (10+): Adults NOK 60.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=880 km, VR=1200 m, T=6-8 °C.
Guided tours: Sulitjelma Visitor Mine: D=1 h, Max=20, MinAge=6.
Sulitjelma Mining Museum: self guided.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Sulitjelma Besøksgruve, Sandneshaugen 21, N-8230 Sulitjelma, Tel: +47-7564-0695, +47-7564-0273.
Sulitjelma Gruvemuseum, Fagerli, 8230 Sulitjelma, Tel: +47-7564-0240
Nordlandsmuseet, Torvgata 8B, 8006 Bodø, Tel: +47-90-80-25-83, Tel: +47-75-50-35-00. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1887 beginning of mining.
1908 Sulitjelma Gruber's administration building built.
1977 Sulitjelma Mining Museum opened to the public.
1983 mine for sale.
1991 mine closed.
1993 show mine opened to the public.
2003 AS Sulitjelmabanen association founded to build a railway from the show mine to the mining museum.
2009 show mine closed for renovation.
JUN-2011 show mine reopened.


Visitors to the Sulitjelma Besøksgruve (Sulitjelma Visitor's Mine) are dressed in the mine worker's clothes, locally called lomp. The mine is entered on a very long train ride, which goes 1,500 m into the mountain. The tour shows the local geology of the copper ore, the mining techniques and the transportation of the ore. It also shows the daily life of the miners. One of the highlights is a sort of funicular, which actually looks like a huge bathtub with seats. It was used to lower miners down an inclined tunnel to their working place. The tour has no fixed length or content, so it generally takes two hours, but if the visitors are interested in more it may take four hours. There are no tours for individual travelers though. Tours must be booked two weeks in advance and there is a steep base price plus an additional fee for every participant. As far as we understand there is a maximum group size of 20, obviously the size of the train, but no minimum number. So if you are willing to pay the price, this tour is definitely worthwhile.

The mine visit is completed by a visit of the Sulitjelma Mining Museum. It is located at the shore of the lake Langvatnet, 2 km further down the road. Photos are representing more than one hundred years of mining activity. Models give an insight into the technology which had been developed in the underground mining operation. There is information about the electric power station, the electrical workshop, carpentry workshop, the laundry, the smelting plant, and the hospital, which all were operated by the mining company. The ruins of the world’s first electrical copper smelter are right at the museum. A mineral collection shows local minerals and ores.

It seem until a few years ago the museum and the show mine were operated by the former owner of the mine, the mining company Salten. The museum was originally named Salten museum Sulitjelma Gruvemuseum og Besøksgruver. Now they are both part of the Nordlandsmuseet, which is actually not a museum, it is the organization which manages about a dozen museums in the Nordland region. Most of them are local history, art, and open air museums.

The town is a mining town and was actually built for the mine. There were a few farms but not much infrastructure when the mining began in 1887. Most buildings at the village were erected in the 1890s as administration building, the home of the mine doctor or other important people from the mine. Also numerous buildings for the miners were erected.

Beneath those two sights, Sulitjelma has a lot of other things to offer. It is located in one of the most interesting botanical regions of Scandinavia. There are nature trails to three disused mines, with educational signs giving an insight into nature, history and geology. The mountain road between Fossen dam and Sjønstå was used during the first years of mining to transport the ore. There are numerous local trails to the surrounding communities and to nearby Sweden, the long-distance North Calotte Trail starts here. Along several of the routes there are lodges which offer accommodation. Hundreds of large and small lakes are an eldorado for game fishermen.