Drilling below the artic ice

2004 Jun 23

On the remarkable island of Spitsbergen, about half way between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, a coal mine lies beneath a permanently frozen sheet of ice. Yet despite the remote location and extreme conditions, the Svea North
mine is strengthening its position as one of Europe’s top coal producers.

The Artic Circle, glaciers, remote villages, frozen ports, snowmobiles, polar bears ? and a mine buried beneath a glacier. Not exactly the kind of environment to attract most miners. But the Svea North coal mine on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen boasts one of the world?s most efficient underground coal operations.

Spitsbergen is the largest of the islands that make up the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard (meaning ?Cold Edge?). It is located at the top of the world about 1,000 km north of the tip of Norway and 500 km east of Greenland. Sixty percent of this area is covered with snow and glaciers and the shores are inaccessible for most of the year.

Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.