LKAB’s digging bar

Have you heard of LKAB’s digging bar?

Digging bars and sledgehammers were important tools at the post-war high-tech ore handling facilities at LKAB. When the iron ore arrived by train, it was laid out on the open warehouses. Now there is a shopping centre and ice hall.

The iron ore wagons were placed two by two over shafts that carried the ore on to the underground crushing plant. It was mostly four or five men who were responsible for the emptying. Three worked with the digging bar and one had a sledgehammer.

It was the sledgehammer’s job to open the bottom limbs of the ore wagons. Two levers were knocked down and the hatches opened and the ore poured into the shafts. When the limbs were going back up, two men with a bounce were placed on one side and one man on the other side of the wagon.

Ore wagons inside Demag unloading station.
Emptying (“tipping”) of Mas wagons with LKAB’s digging bar and sledgehammers at Demag’s unloading station.
The unloading station on Demag.

The ore carts had a chin where one placed the LKAB’s digging bar, and in this way the limb was tilted up. The limb was up when it slammed into the wagon. Sledgehammers had to be quick and fasten the locks so that the three with a bounce did not have to hold the limb too long. Then on to the next carriage, and the same operation again (taken from

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All the historical pictures are from Narvik municipal photo collection managed by Narvik Museum.