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History of Mining in Slovinky

The commencement of mining in the Spis Gemer Mountains of east-central Slovakia dates back to the Celtic colonization of the Spis region sometime before Christ. Public records indicate that commercial sized mining activities in the Gelnica and Slovinky regions were underway in the 13th century.

By 1280 silver production from the Gelnica area was substantial and it became the second largest silver producer in the country in the 14th century. Copper and silver extraction in the 15th century remained strong with increased immigration from Poland and Germany. In the 16th and 17th centuries mining activity declined due to various social and political activities and a decline in the price of copper.

Mining expanded in the early 19th century with the important mines in this mining boom being the Jozefi, Simoni, Nassfeld and Katarina shafts exploiting the Krížová vein. In the latter half of the 19th century new technological innovations led to the re-opening the Klippberg and Helcmanovce deposits. In 1857 low grade copper “ore” from the Gränzling and Kahlehöhe shafts on the Gelnická vein system was treated to recover gold. By 1870 most of the mines in the area closed until approximately 1900 due to low copper prices.

Up to 1900, approximately 930,000 tons of ore were mined with a copper content of between 4.4% and 13.4% in the Gelnica area yielding a minimum of 54,460 tonnes of copper. At Slovinky 13,170 tonnes of copper were produced from 877,990 tonnes of ore, grading 1.56% during the same period.

At the beginning of the 20th century a new phase of activity focused on the exploitation of both copper and iron in the Slovinky-Helcmanovce area until 1922. This was followed by a transitional revival of the Slovinky-Helcmanovce area between 1925 and 1931, focusing on the production of copper concentrate. In 1933 a public company consolidated copper mining operations until 1944. Between 1900 and 1944 over 4,129,500t of ore with copper contents ranging between 1 and 1.3% was mined at Gelnica yielding 54,380t of copper. 1,607,500t of ore with a copper content of between 1.0% and 1.2% was mined yielding 18,588t of copper.

Operations were restarted at Gelnica in 1950 by Geologický prieskum n.p. Spišská Nová Ves (“GpSNV”). Exploration was specifically accelerated in the vicinity of Gelnica in 1951 with the opening of several adits on the Križová vein system over the next few years. In 1959 the Krížová vein was further developed, with mining continuing until 1978. Between 1966 and 1977, 160,571t of ore were mined from Krížová with an average grade of 0.88% Cu yielding 1,413t of copper. Mining ended in the Gelnica area in 1978 but exploration by GpSNV continued until 1987. GpSNV was a large government controlled company primarily focused on exploration with branches throughout Slovakia.

In 1973 GpSNV commenced a program of locating and developing “ore” in the Slovinky-Gelnica area. Activities of particular interest were tracing the vein structures east and west from the vicinity of the Dorota Shaft, with final work completed in 1993. Mining at Slovinky was undertaken by Železorudné bane n.p. Košice from 1950 until 1987 when it was taken over by Železorudné bane š.p. Spišská Nová Ves: (Železorudné bane, Slovinky branch). Železorudné bane was a government controlled mining company with branches throughout eastern Slovakia. It ceased mining operations at Slovinky in 1993. Eventually the responsibility for reclamation work was undertaken by Rudne Bane š.p another state enterprise which operates to this day. Between 1950 and 1993, 7,842,875t of ore with an average copper content of 0.8% yielded 60,666t of copper from Slovinky.

In summary, according to historical records a minimum of 202,780t of copper has been extracted at Slovinky and Gelnica. Undoubtedly, not all of the copper extracted in the early years has been recorded.

In 1997 Geologia s.r.o., Spišská Nova Ves undertook surface exploration for a Canadian exploration company over an area comparable in size to the current exploration licence. Results of this work identified coincident Au anomalies based on stream sediment sampling and heavy mineral concentrates along a 7 km long zone stretching from Slovinky in the west to Gelnica in the east. This was further verified by analysis of vein material from waste dumps along this trend, that from the Nadložná Gelnická vein, returned values of 2.45 g/t Au and 2.06% Cu; from the Josef vein, 3.3 g/t Au and 1.89% Cu; and a sample collected 200m north of the Hrubá vein and 150m south of the Gelnická vein returned values of 7.12 g/t Au and 2.21 % Cu. Operations terminated without testing any of the geochemical anomalies when the prices of gold, silver and copper collapsed.













Zelezorudné bane, Spišská Nová Ves

1950 - 1993


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