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Home* News and Stories → Coal mining in the Arc­tic on the way towards future  

Coal mining in the Arc­tic on the way towards future  

Bjørn Arne­stad, mana­ging direc­tor of the Nor­we­gi­an coal mining com­pa­ny “Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kull­kom­pa­ni” (SNSK), has com­men­ted on the future of his com­pa­ny and on the Sval­bard white paper of the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment that has recent­ly been published (see below). The­re are enough coal reser­ves, inclu­ding mines that do not exist yet, until 2023, but SNSK still needs to deve­lop new busi­ness ide­as for the time after 2023. Ship­ping ser­vices across the then most likely lar­ge­ly ice-free Arc­tic Oce­an might be an opti­on, accor­ding to Arne­stad. About the white paper, he said that he is as satis­fied with it as if he had writ­ten it hims­elf, as the Nor­we­gi­an governmnent puts clear empha­si­ze on future coal mining on Spits­ber­gen.

The fact that the­re is a rela­ti­onship bet­ween coal mining and cli­ma­te chan­ge has obvious­ly not had an influence on this stra­te­gi­cal decis­i­on, alt­hough – offi­ci­al­ly – hig­hest envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards are sup­po­sed to be para­mount for all eco­no­mic acti­vi­ties in Sval­bard and cli­ma­te chan­ge has been iden­ti­fied as the one major sin­gle thre­at to the arc­tic envi­ron­ment and eco­sys­tems.

It seems almost iro­nic that the coal mining com­pa­ny SNSK might bene­fit from cli­ma­te chan­ge by uti­li­zing new ship­ping rou­tes in then ice-free waters.

Coal mining: future acti­vi­ti­ty in the Arc­tic?
(mine 7 near Lon­gye­ar­by­en)

Coal mining in the Arctic

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten (16/2009)

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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