It was a cold winter's day in December, 1924. Out in the forests, northwest of Skellefteå, the persistent grinding sound of a drilling machine can be heard. It falls silent and the drill core is pulled up. "What on earth... Good heavens! It's pure gold!"
On 10th December 1924, gold fever broke out in Boliden. Test drilling in the area known as Fågelmyran discovered the Boliden ore – Europe's richest ore. A new community, Sweden's Klondike, grew up and the gold rush was on.
But the whole thing had really started much earlier. Gold fever sprang up for the first time in Skellefteå and its surrounding area shortly after the dawn of the 20th century. The metal shortage during the latter years of World War I meant an increased interest in the area as a possible source of ore. A new kind of company, "Emissionsbolag", appeared. These were highly speculative holding companies created by banks. One of these, Centralgruppens Emissionsbolag, is at the origin of the modern Boliden.
Between 1915 and 1920, Centralgruppen acquired several mines and holdings in other mining companies, but after sustaining considerable losses over several years, sold some of the assets and joint-ventures.
In May 1925, the bank that had originally financed the company took it over. Two mining companies were created: Västerbottens Gruvaktiebolag and Skellefteå Gruvaktiebolag. At this point, the Swedish financier and industrialist Ivar Kreuger, known as the "Match King", became involved. In 1929, he bought 90 per cent of the shares and over the course of a few dramatic years, he put his stamp on the company.
In February 1931, the two mining companies merged and Boliden came into being. Although the 1930s are marked by a worldwide depression, it was a period of growth for Boliden. The Company's success brought economic benefits and a rise in population to the Skellefteå area. By 1935, there were 2,500 people working for Boliden. The Company's fortunes remained healthy through the years of the Second World War.
The town of Boliden grew quickly alongside the mine. The mining community developed into a well organised, peaceful and idyllic village community.
And the company developed...
The company grows
A new century