The ‘Geology Day’ meeting in Boliden
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The ‘Geology Day’ meeting in Boliden

Written by Erik Sturkell
All photos taken by Erik Sturkell

In spring 2022, I joined the board for the event “Geology Day” which takes place the second Saturday of September every year. The purpose of this event is to inform people about geology in an inspiring way with special focus on school children. Since 2001, geological events have taken place all over the country on this day. 

All the meetings concerning the Geology Day have been online so far. Thus, I hadn’t met any of the other board members live (however, some people I knew from before). Mie Munck who is working at Boliden suggested that November month would be a good occasion to meet in the north. She did a fantastic job and arrangement for us at Boliden. The meeting took place 17–18th of November. I took the early train from Gothenburg to Stockholm and continued by flight to Skellefteå.  At the gate at Arlanda Airport, I met Curt Wichmann and Oskar Sigurdsson (members of the board) and at Skellefteå Airport we had a car waiting on short time parking. The car had been driven by a person who had to catch a flight and the car was left unlocked for 45 minutes until we arrived. It luckily turned out fine and no one had stolen the car. Curt who knows the area drove us to Boliden. We arrived about four o´clock and we met with Mie Munck, Karin Appelquist, and Birgitta Säihke. First a quick tour of the offices and then on to work with our meeting. Mie and Birgitta worked on a Newsletter, while Karin, Oskar, Curt, Mikael Ånäs (on Zoom) and I worked on a geological Christmas calendar. This calendar will contain twenty-four short stories about geology. Almost half of the stories were ready, and we brainstormed to find subjects for the remaining days.

After a few hours of work, we got down to the lunchroom for cheese pies (figure 1). These pies were baked with “Västerbotten” cheese, a fantastic cheese originating from the area. After lunch, Roger Nordin from Boliden gave an interesting lecture about the history of Boliden. When the clock had passed 9 PM, we were transported to the company hotel “Brukshotellet” (figure 2). Next day, the meeting part was over, and it was all about geology. We started visiting the drill core repository (Figure 3). Firstly, we got a presentation by Anders Gren (Figure 4) about the geology in the Boliden area and the newly discovered mineralization in Strömsfors. Next stop was the core inspection room, which is one of the best I have ever seen. Warm, good light and small elevator to rise the cores to the table (figure 5). Several geologists joined and could answer some of our many questions (figure 6). After the drill core repository, we drove to the drill site at Strömsfors, 3 kilometer from the main office. This mineralization has no surface expression and is difficult to detect with geophysical methods. The best (only?) method is by core drillings as the electromagnetic surveys only provide a very week signal.

At Boliden almost 100 geologists and geophysicists are working, and they might need more employees. At 11:30 AM we left Boliden and drove to the airport and took the 1:15 PM flight to Arlanda. Thanks for a fantastic visit, Mie, Roger, Anders, and Mac. I had a stop-over in Stockholm on my way back to Gothenburg to have time for a lecture about Geologists in Movies. This time the audience was the European Federation of Geologists in Belgium. Sadly, it had to be online from my hotel and not on site in Brussels. It worked well and with this done, I met with old friends, Joakim Mansfeld and Benno Kathol at Hemma Vasastan.

PS! The website of ‘Geologins Dag’ can be found here, where Gabrielle with our smooth collies Glitnir and Deli appear from an excursion with David Cornell to Älgön:

Figure 1. The lunchroom in the Boliden office where we got pies with “Västerbotten” cheese.
Figure 2. Outside the company hotel “brukshotellet” on Friday morning, with Birgitta, her husband and Mie.
Figure 3. One of the Boliden drill core repositories, which gives an Indiana Jones feeling. 
Figure 4. Anders showing drill cores from the newly discovered mineralization Strömsfors. Karin standing to the right.
Figure 5. The examination room with state-of-the-art facilities.
Figure 6. The geologist Mav pointing to some suggestions about the complex geology in the Boliden area.