The Slovenia Times

Mežica Marks 350th Anniversary of Mining


The town's now decommissioned lead mine is one of the oldest in Europe. The first documents on lead exploitation in Mežica Valley date back to 1665, which is regarded as the start of mining in this area.

Mining began with many smaller mines, but these were bought out by the Austrian mining company Bleiberger Bergwerks Union at the end of the 19th century. They began with more systematic mining activities.

With the rising number of miners, the town's lead-zinc mine saw a rapid development at the beginning of the 20th century and greatly influenced the economic development of the region.

A mining company was founded, which employed more than 2,000 workers. In 1993, however, the mine's reserves were exhausted and the company was closed a year later.

Over the 350 years, miners excavated nearly 20 million tonnes of ore, digging out more than 800 kilometres of tunnels.

Today, the mining complex is a museum celebrating the beginnings and development of Slovenian mining.


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