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History of the mines

The Dalen-Kjørholt mines have formed the basis of 100 years of Norwegian industrial history. Now they can become the solution to a problem facing us all.

Limestone is an important ingredient in the production of cement. The Brevik region contains major deposits, and cement has been produced in this area for almost 100 years. Norcem Brevik is the operator of the mines, and has one of the biggest cement plants in Europe.

In the beginning, the limestone was obtained from the open-cast mines in Dalen and Kjørholt. in 1960, underground mining started, and eventually the two mines met and became a single mining system. Mining in the Dalen-Kjørholt mines currently takes place around 340 metres below the Eidangerfjord, and is one of the biggest limestone mines still in operation in Norway.

Brevik to Gardermoen

The mining system contains a total of 250 kilometres of galleries. If all the tunnels were laid end to end, they would stretch from Brevik to Gardermoen along the E18. Some of the galleries are 14 metres high, and wide enough to allow two buses to pass each other easily.

Total annual production is around two million tonnes of limestone. The cost of extracting limestone from the mines has become so high that the decision has been taken to discontinue mining operations after 2022. By using the mines as a waste disposal site, NOAH will be able to retain trained local mine workers and further develop their skills.