Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS (SNSK) was formed in November 1916, when the company took over coal mining operations in Longyearbyen on Svalbard from the US-owned Arctic Coal Company. Since then, Store Norske has operated coal mines on Svalbard continually, with the exception of a period during World War II.
Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS still has its head office in Longyearbyen. SNSK is the parent company of the Store Norske group and is 100 per cent owned by the Norwegian State. The group also includes the companies Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani AS (SNSG), Store Norske Boliger AS, Pole Position Logistics AS, Gruve 3 AS and from June 2016 Store Norske Gruvedrift AS.
The majority of coal production in the past was carried out in Longyearbyen. From 2000 until 2015 the principal activities of Store Norske was located at Svea, 60 kilometers south of Longyearbyen, until the mining in Svea Nord and the preparations for a new mine in Lunckefjell was put on hold by the Norwegian government.
In 2017, the Norwegian government decided to stop the mining activities in Lunckefjell and Svea area permanently. The area has to be cleared and all the equipment including spare parts are to be sold. The clearing process will take place over several years and the machines and equipment will be sold continuously as they are released.
In the future the only mining will be in Gruve 7, directed by Store Norske Gruvedrift AS.
The annual coal production from Gruve 7 is approximately 140.000 tonnes.