Holes filled with water in a no-access area instead of silver

Tmedvezhyhe very name of the Medvezhy(Bear) Island silver mines has a stunning influence on those who hear it.

I hate to disappoint you but mines are now flooded by ground waters and any silver that may be left there is inaccessible.

Further, the Island of Medvezhy is part of the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, with public access to it prohibited.

Still, the story of 18th century silver mining has an exciting influence on people’s minds, and I’m posting it on the request of one of your travellers.

Location: Porya Guba (bay) west from Umba, south-west of the peninsula.


A silver nugget from Island Medvezhy

Industrial-scale mining started in 1730s, after an order by Tzarina Anna Ioanovna signed on Jan. 24 `1732. The first Russian silver rouble was minted in 1736 from silver from the Medvezhy Island mine. A total of 754km of silver has been mined there in the 18th century.

Attempts to bring the mine back into production had been made in the 19th and early 20th century but failed.


Flooded entrace to the mine as it appears these days


A pile of processed rock

For a detailed review of the history of Porya Guba and the nearby Island of Medvezhy see an article from Science and Business on Murman, 1998, No. 6, pages 60-86.


This Post Has Been Viewed 222 Times


Holes filled with water in a no-access area instead of silver — 4 Comments

  1. Wow! Great story. So I shouldn’t bring a huge mining drill to the nature reserve. Which museum is the silver nugget in?

    • Words like “silver” and “gold” do funny things to people’s brains, thus the concern about crowds with heavy-duty equipment.

      This silver nugget was, according to Alexandra, on the display in the A.E. Fersman Minerology Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

  2. Жми на “replay”, когда отвечаешь на комментарий, чтобы человек получил извещение о твоем ответе. Когда создаешь новый комментарий, такового извещения вопрошающий не получает.

Leave a Reply to Michael Horan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Prove you are not a bot * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.