"We know that we will have some challenges in the start-up phase. Especially when it comes to preparing the belt system that has been under water", says CEO of Store Norske, Jan Morten Ertsaas.
Mine 7 is the last Norwegian coal mine that is still in operation. The mine is located outside Longyearbyen and the operation takes place under the auspices of Store Norske.
The mine was exposed to a major water intrusion this summer and the inner part of the mine was filled with water. Store Norske has since then worked to restore the mine, and on Saturday night around 10 pm, operations resumed.
The CEO of Store Norske, Jan Morten Ertsaas, tells High North News that it he is happy that the mining operation is back on track.
"We know that we will have some challenges in the start-up phase. Especially when it comes to preparing the belt system that has been under water. We will run 24-hour operations now, seven days a week, for a period until Christmas. We hope to be back in normal operation in January", he says.
"We now have full monitoring of the belt system, it is important in this run-up period we are in now. There is still some clearing work that we must do away with. A fantastic job has been done by both our own employees in the mine, but also by subcontractors, and society in general, he concludes.
Mine 7 produces coal that is used for Longyear Energiverk, which supplies Longyearbyen with electricity. As of now, Store Norske has coal in stock for well over the New Year.
In the proposed state budget, the Norwegian Government proposes to allocate NOK 40 million to Store Norske to cover the estimated operating deficit in Mine 7 in 2021.