The Circumference - historical overview

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The Circumference is the resource area granted to Røros Copper Works (1644–1977) by royal ‘privilege’ in 1646. Within the Circumference, with a radius of 45 km and centred on Old Storwartz mine, the company had the right to mine all mineral deposits, exploit all forests and waterways, and, in addition, use any other resources in the area that may be necessary in order to continue production.

The copper works also depended on a labour force. Another important privilege was that they were empowered to demand that all the farmers and peasants who lived within the circumference should work for the company, ‘but for cheap payment.’ This right was however, seldom used. There was a great need for work and many of the farmers were dependent on income from the works as either their main source of livelihood or to supplement their other income.