The state-owned coal company, Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani, in Svalbard has lost 4.4 billion in five years, according to Finansavisen newspaper.
The major deficit is mainly due to the fall in coal prices, which have gone from over $200 a ton, down to nearly $60 per ton in the past five years, the newspaper reported. Nearly 300 employees in the company have lost their jobs since 2007.
Two years ago, parliament decided to boost in NOK 750 million in a three-year rescue package, so that mining could continue until 2020.
The plan was that the company should resume operations at Lunckefjell and Svea when it became profitable to start the recovery. Instead, parliament decided last year that mining operations in Lunckefjell and Svea should be wound up.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today