In Lapland, Finland, the Inari and Sodankylä areas were Europe's only topsoil Gold Fields, where gold leaching has been economically viable. There have been several gold miners in the Lemmenjoki area. Some of them were professionals using machines but for many gold mining was a way of life. Jaakko Kangasniemi, a fourth-generation gold digger, surveys the Lemmenjoki gold rush in an interview with journalist Seppo J. Partanen.
Jaakko Kangasniemi came to Lemmenjoki to dig for gold with his father in 1948. At that time, the so-called gold rush lasted about 5-6 years to subside and began again in the late 1970s when the price of gold rose. Some gold diggers dig for their profession, for others gold mining is a way of life. Journalist Seppo J. Partanen interviewed gold digger Jaakko Kangasniemi in 1985.
The Finnish Mining Act was amended in 2011, which put an end to mechanical gold mining in June 2020. Many shovel gold diggers continue to look for hobbies, albeit more on a recreational basis.
More stories from the north in the Inari municipality's sound archive: www.tarinoideninari.fi
Also check out the Lapland Gold Miners' Association: www.kullankaivajat.fi
Sound archive of the municipality of Inari. Seppo J. Partanen's material 1980-1991. Recorded by Partanen Seppo J. and Timonen Martti.