Gruve 7

Kullgruve nr 7 - Coal Mine No. 7

Useful Information

Location: Longyearbyen, Spitzbergen Island.
Open: Closed.
Fee: Closed.
Classification: MineCoal Mine ExplainRoom and Pillar Mining
Light: provided.
Dimension: T=-4 °C.
Guided tours: L=1,000 m, D=3 h.
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.


1969 exploration stated that coal seams deeper in the mountains were bigger and of hiigher quality.
1975 mine opened.
1978 mine closed for renovation.
1981 mine reopened with new conveyor belt system.
FEB-2009 mine shut down due to pollution.


This is an operational coal mine, 15 km from Longyearbyen, where some 20 workers are employed. The mine produces 65,000 tonnes of coal per year [2001] and the coal is transported by road to Longyearbyen. 25,000 tonnes per year are burned by Longyearbyen Energiverk, to supply electricity and heating to Longyearbyen. The rest is exported to Norway.

The coal seam is in average 1.50 m thick. It is mined by the room and pillar method, where pillars of coal are left to support the roof. The used machinery is a Continuous Miner (CM). This machine scrapes off the coal and throws it on a conveyor belt, following the coal on tracks. It is electrically operated and remote controlled.

The mine was shut down for some time, because of pollution issues, in 2009. The mine lacked proper dust suction equipment at the enrichment plant, the result was black coal dust spread all around the Advent Valley and the Bolter Valley. This created problems for tourist firms and dog kennels in the area. The mine is operated by the Norwegian coal company Store Norske, who decided not to be the worst polluter on Svalbard and shut down the mine. It was reopened after the issue was solved.

The mine was operated as a show mine for many years, which was quite interesting as it was a working mine. The tours were discontinued several years ago and there is currently no chance that they will be reopened. But the mine is still a working mine, in February 2011 Store Norske presented a new operating plan with at least 20 more years with current production. At the moment [2022] the mine employs 20 people and produces 70.000 tonnes of coal per year. 25,000 tonnes are delivered to Longyearbyen Energiverk, which is Norway's only coal power plant and provides electricity and heating in Longyearbyen. The rest of the coal is primarily sold to steel furnaces in Germany and to other companies all over Europe. However, the current reduction of coal use due to climate change may soon cause further reduction in the production.