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Lunckefjell2
Photo: Malte Jochmann

The Lunckefjell project

The Lunckefjell mountain lies northeast of the Svea Nord mine and contains an estimated 8.4 million tonnes of saleable coal. Lunckefjell is scheduled for production start in September/October 2013. The main produsction will start in 2015, when the Svea Nord core becomes depleted under the current production plans.

To access the deposits at Lunckefjell, a tunnel will be driven from the existing gallery system in Svea Nord and out of the mountain at the Marthabreen glacier. From there, a two-kilometre road will be laid over the glacier to the mine entrance in Lunckefjell. The coal will be transported by truck over the glacier and through the Svea Nord mine on the existing conveyor belt system. The entire Svea infrastructure will be used in the same way as in the current mining operations.

Store Norske har been carrying out a thorough impact study of the potential consequences of the mining initiative for the natural environment and the communities on Svalbard. The application for the project and the environmental impact analysis was delivered to the Governor of Svalbard on 17 September 2010.

Trond Giske, Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry, announced on 22 December 2011 that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has given the green light for the opening of a new coal mine at Lunckefjell. The announcement came as the Ministry of the Environment gave approvals for the project under the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act.

After Lunckefjell, the remaining coal reserves are in Svea Øst, the Svea Nord rim zone and Ispallen. All of these will be operated from the infrastructure in Svea. According to the current production profile, Store Norske will be able to continue mining in Svea until about 2030.