Svalbard coal mine reduces staff

Coal mining on Norway's Arctic Svalbard archipelago is no good business.

World’s northernmost coal company posts huge loss and is forced to send miners home from the Arctic.


Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani (SNSK), the Norwegian state own coal mining company on Svalbard is no longer good business. The company reports a net loss of NOK 234 million (€31 million) for 2012 and says losses is likely to be the case also this year.

The company operates the coal mine in Svea and a smaller mine in Longyearbyen. 

“We will reduce staff in 2013, but how many is too early to say,” says Per Andersson, CEO of SNSK to Svalbardposten. The company will also take other measures to reduce costs.

Svea coal mine will soon run out of resources and mining the last coal in a mine is explained to be one of the cost-boosters behind the current negative economy for SNSK. Lower coal price on the world market is another reason.

The Norwegian coal company is now preparing for opening the Lunckefjell mine to be explored when Svea is empty within the next few years. The new mine is close to the current Svea mine and the resources there is believed to last until 2030.