The Jochberg ore deposits, located in the Kitzbuehel Alps, have been of great mining interest for some time.  One of the oldest copper mines of this region can be found at the Kelch mountain pasture near Jochberg at an elevation of approx. 1750 m.

In the copper mines established around 1000 B.C.  one was searching for copper, but discovered mainly copper plate, from which objects, jewellery and tools were created.  For unknown reasons the mining activities were stopped, and once again in the 15th century the Jochberg ore deposits were re-discovered.  At this time the tunnels were dug even deeper into the mountain and primarily fahlore (a grey crystalline copper-containing mineral) was mined, which was particularly valuable due to its high content of copper and silver.

The “Erbstollen” (Drainage Tunnels) to the Holy Spirit

The “Erbstollen” to the Holy Spirit (drainage tunnels) in Jochberg were damaged around 1600, which provided the mine with fresh air and served as its drainage.  The extracted ore was taken to a nearby processing plant.  In the middle of the 18th century the name “Copper Plate” was given to this mining area to the north-east.

From the 17th century on the sovereign rulers controlled the copper mining in the Tyrol, however the Jochberg mines only brought in low returns.  The mining authorities in Schwaz had a new smelting plant built in Jochberg, but, due to the constant problems that arose from it, the last bit of copper was melted in 1875.  The time of active mining at Copper Plate was not yet over.   The year 1920 saw a revival of the processing plant, that broke up the ore from the mine in order to deliver it to the smelting ovens in Brixlegg situated approx. 60 km from the plant.

World War I and the End of Mining

During World War I all the facilities for copper production were renovated, even the Erbstollen (drainage tunnels) in Jochberg, since the overseas trading of inexpensive copper came to a standstill.  Towards the end of World War I the need for Jochberg copper declined again.  Copper was available all over the world; provided that the economically hard-hit countries could afford it.  In the years following there was a reduction of workers, and on July 31st, 1926 the responsible ministry finally closed the mine known as Copper Plate.

At the end of 19809 the Grander Family bought the “Erbstollen” to the Holy Spirit.

After intensive renovation work the front part of the “Schaubergwerk Kupferplatte” (Public Mine – Copper Plate) was officially opened in a ceremony on July 28th, 1990 and has been open to visitors since then.

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