Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 26, 2016


Coal prices rebound, but not enough for profitable mining
Store Norske’s final months of full-scale mining-related activities are both busy and more lucrative than expected as prices have risen from a low of $41 a ton earlier this year to about $60 a ton in mid-July. The company is scheduled to export nearly tons of coal this year, including 900,000 tons from Svea where mining operations are now on hold for up to three years in the hope prices recover sufficiently. Elisabeth Larsen, the company’s sales manager, aid prices would have to rise another $10 a ton in order to make operations sustainable. The company is scheduled to finish laying off all but about 100 of the 400 workers it once had by the end of the year.

Woman convicted of arson gets two years in prison
A 22-year-old woman convicted of arson in a row house on Vei 222, plus other drug and disturbance charges, has been sentenced to two years in prison by Nord-Troms District Court. The woman set a mattress on fire in a storage room on March 20 of last year, which was extinguished by another tenant before it spread far. She told the court she has a long history of substance abuse and has been drinking since the age of 12, and unsuccessfully sought to have the charges dismissed due to psychological impairment. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison for the woman, who was on probation for drunk driving and other charges.

Reindeer attacked by dog killed; owner facing fine
A reindeer attacked by a dog Tuesday evening in the valley just beyond Svalbard Scooterutleie was euthanized due to the extent of the animal’s injuries, according to The Governor of Svalbard. “The dog had gotten loose when the owner was going into his car and got hold of the reindeer,” said Police Chief Lt. Arve Johnsen. “The animal welfare comes first and the deer was so damaged that it would not have fared well.” An investigation is now underway and the dog’s owner is likely to face a fine for not keeping the dog under control. Johnsen said he has seen five such incidents this year. After the reindeer were killed were carried away and laid out in the wild to be food for including foxes.
One time is one too many. There have been too many such messages this year. I myself have been involved in about five such cases so far this year, Johnsen said. He also emphasizes the importance of people join in from if such events occur. The reindeer’s carcass was placed in an away away from town as a food source for wildlife.