Have you ever been in a coalmine before? Join us today and dig deep in the history of Longyearbyen, the miners, all the coal dust and their life in the mountains.
The Mining history is important for the existence of Longyearbyen, where this town wouldn’t be here without the coalmining. The name on the city comes from the man that started the coalmining here in 1906. The man was an American with the name John Munro Longyear, and he kept on for 10 years. Then in 1916 we have the Norwegian coal company that by the Arctic Coal Company from Munro, and then became the Store Norske Spitsbergen Coal Company. Its SNSK that still own the mines today, and it ended up with 7 mines in Longyearbyen. Today all this seven mines are closed down, without one! Mine number 7 is still in production, where we use coal to get electricity. So we have the only power plant station in Norway that runs on coal.
We do now have the opportunity to show you one of this closed mines in the town. Join us on a historical travel in Mine number 3. This mine had production from 1971 – 1996 and is one of the last low drifted mines, it means that the coal layer wasn’t ticker than 60 – 90 cm. We will show you around in the building outside the mountain, where we do find the workshops and all the equipment they used. It’s quite an authentic mine, where the left everything in their hands and walked out the day they closed. So in the second you enter the building the walls speak to you, and it feels like there are still life in the mine.
We have built a small tunnel for you so here it’s possible to get the true feeling of a miner’s work, and crawl through it. At the end we walk 300 meter into the mountain. Here you can see the coal lines and even some more historical interesting stuff. You see in 1984 there was placed a container with seeds in one of the side tunnels in the mine. This is a project from The Nordic Gene bank that wanted to try out if the seeds will manage in just the mountain temperature over 100 years. Every 5th year the take out one box, and this will be done till 2084. We will actually enter all the way to the entrance. There is also a new project going on in the mountain about storing data over 500-year, called The Arctic World Archive.
The guided tours take 3 hours and start at 9am and 1 pm. We pick you up and leave you at your hotel, but if you want to go to the airport after the tour we do that to. You will get a mining suite (Lompen), headlamp and helmet when we arrive the mine, so this make you quite authentic. The tours go on English and Norwegian. It’s a tour that suits everyone, without the people with high claustrophobia or struggle with walking. And at last remember to put on thick clothes where its colder inside the building than outside.
This tour is historical and exiting and gives you a whole experience of a miner’s life.
Book a trip with us today!