The state-owned mining company, Store Norske, operates in the areas of both tourism and research. This is contrary to regulations’, said the Governor (Sysselmannen).
There are no longer coal mining operations in the Svea region, after Parliament adopted a so-called ‘operating rest’ for coal mining, and Store Norske therefore looked for new areas of revenue.
The company had already started both tourist and research activities, and they offer accommodation and dining, mine visits and tours, reported NRK news.
The Governor denounced the joint activities, and believes it is particularly regrettable that Store Norge, as a state company, operates both tourist and research projects in Svea, in violation of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act, said environmental chief, Knut Fossum.
‘When it comes to what may happen within the framework of the current land use plan, we have written to Store Norske and said that we believe there is no room for the activities they are engaged in today’, he said to NRK news.
Oddmund Rønning, Director of Environment, Health and Safety in Store Norske, is clear on the fact that the company disagrees.
‘We believe it is a question of interpretation, so there’ll most probably be a complaint process’, he said.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today