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Home* News and Stories → Water ingress in mine 7

Water ingress in mine 7

It was pro­ba­b­ly the extre­me­ly warm wea­ther of the last weekend that now gives the mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni (SNSK) trou­bles with water in mine 7, the last Nor­we­gi­an coal mine still in ope­ra­ti­on in Spits­ber­gen.

Water ingres­si­ons are not unu­su­al in Spitsbergen’s coal mines, many of which are part­ly situa­ted under gla­ciers. Mine 7 is clo­se to the small ice cap Fox­fon­na which “pro­vi­des” melt­wa­ter to the mine during the mel­ting sea­son, so pumps are rou­ti­ne­ly in ope­ra­ti­on. But the latest ingres­si­on went far bey­ond the capa­ci­ties of the available pumps.

Water ingress in mine 7

Water ingres­si­ons are not uncom­mon in the coal mines in Spits­ber­gen. Here, a boat is even kept available to move around in floo­ded are­as (the pho­to is from the mine Svea Nord).

Mine 7 is curr­ent­ly any­way on plant holi­day. The water ingress was dis­co­ver­ed during a rou­ti­ne con­trol on Sun­day mor­ning. Equip­ment and per­so­nell from Sveagru­va and main­land Nor­way are now sup­po­sed to deal with the situa­ti­on and return the mine back into pro­duc­ti­ve con­di­ti­on. Coal pro­duc­tion is sche­du­led to start up again, but this is likely to be delay­ed.

Coal from mine 7 is main­ly used in Longyearbyen’s coal power plant. Ano­ther frac­tion is expor­ted. Accor­ding to the SNSK, the­re is enough coal in sto­rage in Lon­gye­ar­by­en to feed the power plant 5-6 months.



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last modification: 2020-07-29 · copyright: Rolf Stange