Norway’s state-owned coal company to stop mining in its last Arctic coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago in 2023.
Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani (SNSK), Norway’s state-owned coal mining company, will close Mine 7, the last operating coal mine in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, in 2023. The closure of Mine 7 will cause the loss of 8 jobs and end almost 120 years of mining in the archipelago by Norway.
The closure of Mine 7 won’t spell the end of all mining in this snow-covered archipelago in the north of the Arctic Circle. A Russian company continues to extract coal at Barentsburg settlement in the Svalbard archipelago. The director of SNSK, Jan Morten Ertsaas, said that the purpose of mining at Mine 7 was to supply coal to the electric power plant at Longyearbyen. With Svalbard’s main settlement switching to diesel in 2023 to produce electricity before transitioning to a renewable energy source, the mine was no longer required to operate.
The Svalbard archipelago is located around 700 km (435 miles) to the north of the European mainland. The archipelago is governed under a 1920 treaty, which grants Norway sovereignty over the region but allows all nations signing the treaty to do business there and to exploit the region’s natural resources.