Mine 3

The island of Svalbard (formerly Spitzbergen) is halfway from the mainland of Norway to the North Pole. Coal was found there in the seventeenth century and around 1900 John Munro Longyear, an American businessman, opened the first of seven large mines (he gave his name to the main settlement, Longyearbyen). Only Mine 7 is still in use. Mine 3 produced coal from 1971 to 1996 and was known for the narrowness of the coal seam, which was only 80-90 cm. Visitors start the journey in the mine’s workshops. Equipped with helmets and lamps, they walk 300 meters into the mountain through the main underground roadway. Guides explain the mine’s history and working life. Visitors can try crawling through a narrow space to sense the tough conditions. Tours are available in Norwegian and English. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is held underground as a back-up to botanical gene banks around the world.

Mine 3
Gruve 3
Store Norske Gruve 3 AS
9170 Longyearbyen
+47 (0) 481 - 00640