Tag Archives: Store Norske

Keep the lights on: If Santa could bring Longyearbyen one thing for Christmas? Opening mines, safe housing top wish list

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It was a perfect symbolism for Christmas in Longyearbyen in 2017 – the locals dancing and singing as they circled the town’s official tree whose lights were dark (a seemingly laugh-it-off error that turned out to be deliberate sabotage). Because the top item on the wish list of many locals comes to down to one thing: keeping the lights going at something significant where they’re being turned off.

Higher price of failure: Shutdown of Store Norske mines will cost far more, take longer than thought, minister says

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It turns out shutting down and dismantling the Svea and Lunckefjell is going to cost a lot more than expected. With Parliament scheduled to debate the issue Thursday, at what point does the cost get so high it would be more sensible to spend the money reopening the mines?

Apparently, never, according to the head of Store Norske.

Lots of fire, but no heat? Hundreds of torch-carrying protesters object to mine shutdowns, but trade minister stands by proposal

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The government’s spin is the mines may be closing permanently, but there will be significantly more jobs locally during the shutdown period as Longyearbyen attempts to transition its economy. It doesn’t appear many locals are buying the argument.

FINAL CLOSURE: Government recommends permanent shutdown of mining at Svea, Lunckefjell

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Hopes of resuming large-scale coal mining in Svalbard were dashed Thursday morning – probably permanently – as the Norwegian government is recommending Svea and Lunckefjell remain closed, and that maintenance of the mines cease and most of the infrastructure be removed. 

A minefield of uncertainty: Store Norske Administrative Director Wenche Ravlo resigns just before government announces future intentions for coal company

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In nine days Store Norske will learn if Norway’s government wants to resume or end large-scale coal mining in Svalbard. But now local workers must cope with another huge uncertainty – who will be in charge of which transition the company takes in the future.

Administrative Director Wenche Ravlo announced publicly Tuesday she is resigning as of March 1 next year. The resignation officially presented to the company late last week comes just before the government releases its proposed budget for next year, which is expected to include a recommendation on whether to resume operations at the Svea and Lunckefjell.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 26, 2017

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Final fate of Svea and Lunckefjell mines may be determined Oct. 12
The few employees left at Svea will learn if the government supports resuming operations at the coal mine, as well as the one nearby at Lunckefjell, when the proposed national budget for 2018 is submitted Oct. 12.

Holiday plans cancelled: Po Lin Lee loses planned hotel site in addition to giant Santa’s mailbox due to faulty paperwork

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To use an analogy apt for Po Lin Lee: If you mail a wish list to Santa you might not get everything on it, but if you don’t mail it you definitely won’t get anything.

A failure to send proverbial wish lists is now costing the Hong Kong native more than her gigantic Santa’s mailbox that’s facing imminent removal, as she is now being denied previous approval to build a hotel at Elvesletta. Her company Svalbard International received a permit to build the hotel in 2014 that was valid until mid-December of 2015, but property owner Store Norske now plans to offer the site to another entity.

Mining and/or tourism? Government friend and/or foe? Store Norske’s unpredictable future takes more volatile turns

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The question used to be what options, if any, were possible at Svea since coal mining was shutting down. Now the dilemma is it might be possible to have mining and other new activities already occurring – but government officials who’ve been so supportive in the past might block some or all of those options this time.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 21, 2017

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Store Norske hoping to build 21 new housing complexes
Store Norske is hoping to ease Longyearbyen’s sudden housing shortage by building new apartment buildings in Gruvedalen in an accelerated process beginning this spring, according to company officials.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Two avalanches block road to Mine 7; NVE sets Level Three risk level, recommends against travel

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Two avalanches on the upper side of the road up to the Mine 7 on Wednesday morning are blocking it, according to Per Nilssen, mining manager for Store Norske.

Plowing of the road is underway, according to a statement released by The Governor of Svalbard at 8:15 a.m. Nilssen told the governor’s office the mountainside will also be examined to determine the threat of additional avalanches before the road is plowed all the way to the mine.