Bergslagen covers part of the provinces of Västmanland, Dalarna (the southern part), and Värmland (the eastern part). Typical towns in the area include Nora, Fagersta, Sala, Kristinehamn, Filipstad, Ludvika and Hedemora. Also parts of northern Östergötland, around Finspång, as well as southern Närke can be included, then often referring to South Bergslagen. A wider definition of the area can include parts of Gästrikland (Hofors) and Uppland (the former iron manufacturing district centred around Dannemora) as well.
The area is very rich in minerals. Mining has been focused on iron ore for centuries but other ores has been mined as well. Most mines are now closed, but in the 1970s many mines were still in operation. The earliest signs of iron making dates back to 400 BC while industrial scale activities dates back to the 17th century.
At Långban, where iron and manganese has been mined, 270 mineral species has been reported to date. Many of these minerals are unique to the Långban deposit, and 67 minerals were first found at this site.