Aardal Copperworks in Western Norway were a small royally owned copperworks that operated at an enormous loss during the first decades of the eighteenth century. When the king did not close it down after short time, he had to choose between two options: Trust the director who, based on certain geological theories, predicted that large supplies of copper and other metals were to be found further down in the mountains or lease the copperworks to English interests who would introduce modern smelting technology based on coal. The king chose the first and his successor or rather the treasury the second. Both were unsuccessful, and Aardal Copperworks only became a minor episode in Norwegian mining history – but none-the-less included spectacular ideas, boundless optimism, extraordinary efforts and a tough reality.
Great expectations: geological theories and technological transfer at Aardal copperworks in Norway in the first half of the eighteenth Century.