Gruve 3

Kullgruve nr 3 - Coal Mine No. 3

Useful Information

Location: Longyearbyen, Spitzbergen Island.
(78.237538, 15.444501)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 9, 13.
Fee: Adults NOK 790, Children (12-15) NOK 450, Seniors (67+) NOK 560.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: helmet and headlamp provided.
Guided tours: D=3 h, Min=2, MinAge=12. English Norsk - Norwegian
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Store Norske Gruve 3 AS, PO Box 613, 9171 Longyearbyen, Tel: +47-481-00-640. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1971 mine opened.
1996 mine closed.


This trip leads 500 m into Gruve 3 (Mine 3) There is also a long name, Store Norske Spitsbergen Gruve 3 (Large Norwegian Spitsbergen Mine 3), but the short one is generally used. This mine is exceptional, as it is the last mine on Spitzbergen, where coal was mined by hand until 1996. The reason are the rather thin seams, which resulted in very low ceilings. In coal mines typically only the rather soft coal is removed, the surrounding rock is left. Later the open space has to be filled in, to prevent collapses, so the smaller the room is, the less material has to be moved. Unfortunately the seams were so low, modern machinery did not fit in. This made manual operation necessary, the miners were only equipped with 50 years old machinery.

As the ceilings are very low, it is definitely not a trip for people with claustrophobia. However, with the provided equipment it is rather comfortable. Visitors are dressed up in an overall, belt, gloves, and helmet with head lamp. Warm clothes, especially fleece and functional underwear are a good idea, because of the minus grades. The visitors should bring sturdy shoes, probably of the warm kind, and clothes to change afterwards. The tours visit a section which was mined in the 1970s, and it was used for tours even when the mine was still in operation. It is also the oldest part of the mine, as it was opened only in 1971, by the state-owned Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS.

The mining building on top of the mine is actually a sort of real life mining museum. It contains mostly large machinery which was used during the mining like conveyor belts or special trucks.