Sledge transport to Malmbjerget

During the extraordinary snow rich winter in 1953/54, it was necessary to do something special to be able to transport oil from the storage at the port, the 12 km long stretch up to the mining town. The delivery took place with a bulldozer which drew a sledge with a tank containing 5000 litres of oil. But the bulldozerens 16 inches wide tracks had not enough area to carry the 10 tonnes heavy machinery so that it could run on top of the 2.4 m deep snow cover. We tried to make the area bigger by welding half track shoes on both sides of the original tracks, which then was 32 inches wide.

This led to a drastic change. Now, the "wide tracked" bulldozer run almost everywhere with a minimal sinking, and there was no longer problems with the oil. This solution would however be important in other areas. That was during the investigation of a new mineral deposits of molybdenum in a mountain called Malmbjerget, but a large area with high mountains was in between, and Malmbjerget largely only accessible by air. Now showed the new bulldozer what it could do. It succeeded in 1958 and the following year to transport hundreds of tonnes of goods to the site by sledge transport. The transport road started at the glacier in the bottom of the image. Went over 10 kilometres in steady rise up to a passport in 1000 m height. Turning down a similar glacier, and finally back up to end at Malmbjerget in 700 m height. Her was made tunnel blasting and done Diamond drilling, but unfortunately there was not found enough ore to start production, even it was a very big incidence of molybdenum ore, but unfortunately, was the content of molybednum so small, that it could not pay to launch the extraction and treatment of the ore with the technique available at that time.

On Malmbjerget I lived in a summer cottage. Not because it was summer. In fact, it was always winter in this height and with all that ice below the house, and there blew almost always a cold wind down the glacier. The House was coming from the shipping company Lauritzen, who originally had only used the house in  summer time down at the airport. Now  we lacked something to live in during our work by Malmbjerget, and we therefore used buildings wich were easily transported on a sledge, and that could just the cottage, which was supplemented by similar small buildings.

It was not a little work that was done by Malmbjerget under very primitive conditions, where the toilet was a crack in the glacier with a small house above. On the other hand, there was an infrared heat source in the ceiling, so there were a little amenities. In fact there was made a few short tunnels into the mountain, but there was also blasted a several hundred meter long tunnel, that went across the mountain and out on the other side. And most of the work was performed with the equipment we could do without in the mining town. If you are interested in knowing more about the work related to Malmbjerget, read the book "Blyminen in Mesters Vig.". Until now it exist unfortunately only in danish.

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Edited februar 25, 2009