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Home* News and Stories → Coal mining in Spitsbergen: deficite in 2012

Coal mining in Spitsbergen: deficite in 2012

The Norwegian coal mining in Spitsbergen is expected to yield a deficite in 2012: The mining company Store Norske has announced to be in the red during the ongoing year on a scale that the company has not seen since the opening of the then new mine Svea Nord 12 years ago. Today, the main reason is a several months long production stop in Svea, where only marginal parts of the coal are left: the quality is on the decrease, the proportion of stones within the coal is going up, making a costly grading plant necessary.

When the best parts of the coal seams in Svea Nord where mined around 2003, the company would produce as much as 12,854 tons per year and employee. In 2011, this value was down to 3,922 tons. The low coal prices on the world market contribute to the difficult situation. The company plans to reduce the number of employees from currently 380, but wants to achieve this without dismissals.

In recent years, Store Norske leaders have received critizism for focussing on lawsuits with subcontractors and former director Robert Hermansen, who was then convicted and is currently in prison, but nevertheless enjoys popularity, rather than mining itself. Currently, Store Norske is preparing a new mine at Lunckefjellet, north of Sveagruva, for mining. On the long term, the company aims at new mines in untouched areas, possibly at the mountain Ispallen south of Sveagruva or Operafjellet east of Longyearbyen.

Norwegian coal mining in Spitsbergen: economically currently facing dark times.

Norwegian coal mining, Spitsbergen.

Source: Svalbardposten (4912)

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