The silver mines at Oberzeiring, 16 km north-west of Judenburg in the Aauern Mountains, were worked for more than a thousand years and for several centuries in the late middle ages formed the most productive source of silver in the eastern Alps. The Habsburg emperors on several occasions took the mine into their own hands. The mine became increasingly difficult to work, and after ventures between 1783 and 1885 seeking iron ore, and some extraction of barites in the 1950s and 60s, all operation ceased in 1963. The mine workings extend about 3 km into the mountains over a width of about 2 km, but is now flooded.
Visitors to the museum can explore a show mine, opened in 1958, and on the surface are displays of tools and means of lighting used in the mines, mineral specimens that have been found there, and relics of the mint that produced coins in Oberzeiring between 1284 and 1365.