Mine Visit

Mine Visit

Experience Svalbard's industrial history

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Mine visit

When venturing around the places where people live and have lived here in Svalbard you’d be hard pressed to not notice any traces of mining activity. The hunt for “the black gold”, the coal inside of Svalbard’s mountains, provided a basis on which mining settlements could be established in Svalbard and lead to people becoming permanent residents of Svalbard in recent history.
The abandoned mining facilities in Pyramiden, the cableway towers in between the buildings of Longyearbyen, the old railway between Grumant and Coles Bay, and the mining facility in the centre of Barentsburg. These and many other sights are constant reminders of the mining industry that once existed, and that still exists, here in Svalbard.

“If there is one man to whom I do feel myself inferior, it is a coal-miner.” wrote George Orwell in his book The road to Wigan Pier in admiration of coal-miners and their work.
For most people it can be difficult to imagine what it was like to work in the mines back in the day, nevertheless how it’s like to work in the mines now. But here in Svalbard you’ll be able to get an impression of this yourself by visiting a mine together with a local guide.

In Longyearbyen you can join a guided visit in Mine 3 where machines and equipment still remains from when the mine was shut down in 1996. This mine is located just outside of the town and had a low working height of no more than 60-90cm, which meant that old-fashioned methods had to be applied to extract the coal.
In Barentsburg you’ll be able to join a visit into an active coal mine, meaning it is still in operation. This is the northernmost of all the still active Russian coal mines in the world, and here you’ll get the opportunity to talk with a real coal miner who’ll be joining you on your visit.

Venture into the mountains, experience the unique atmosphere as you shine your way through the mining tunnels, and get a first-hand feel for Svalbard’s industrial history!

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  1. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 68 reviews68 reviews

    Coal Mine 3 Visit - Gruve 3 AS

    Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen would most likely not exist if it wasn’t for the mining industry. Come visit Mine 3 and learn about our town’s fundamental mining history.

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 68 reviews68 reviews
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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 3 reviews3 reviews

    Tour to the Barentsburg mine - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    Barentsburg

    The mine in Barentsburg is the northernmost one among all the Russian mines. On the mine tour you can see a war between man and nature, you can learn how the coal is being produced and transported onto the surface, and you can talk with a miner.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 3 reviews3 reviews
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