The town was earlier dominated by iron-ore extraction at Grängesberg ore field (Grängesbergs malmfält) from the 16th century to 1989. In January 1990 was the last ore-train from Grängesberg to Oxelösund.
Grängesbergsbolaget had during a long period the world's largest iron-ore fleet and by 1899–1900 was it Sweden's most profitable company. During this time Grängesberg grew very fast, and during a 10-year period the town's population increased threefold. Today Spendrups is Grängesberg's biggest employer.