DSI DRILL TEK Ltd. Supplies Specialty Systems for the World’s northernmost Mine
The world’s northernmost mine is located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, 1,300km from the North Pole. At this location, the company Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani AS, which is part of the Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS Group, extracts coal from the Svea Nord and Gruve 7 underground mines year-round.
In 2012, Store Norske awarded a contract to Veidekke Entreprenør AS for the construction of the needed infrastructure for a new mine – the Lunckefjell mine. This mine is located north-east of the Svea Nord Mine and includes coal reserves equaling approx. 8.5 million tons. The relatively thin coal seam will be mined using a longwall system. The extracted coal will then be transported by truck to the existing conveyor belt system of the Svea Nord Mine.
The Gruve 7 Mine is a small mine near the town of Longyearbyen. Since 1975, approx. 80,000t of coal are mined per year in this room and pillar mine. On average, the coal seam at Gruve 7 Mine is 1.5m thick. The coal is mined using the room-and-pillar method, extracted using a continuous miner, milled using a breaker and then transported out of the mine.
There are no roads connecting the Svea Nord mine to the town of Longyearbyen. Consequently, the mine has its own infrastructure with accommodations, an airport, a power plant and a harbor. 360 employees mine approx. 1.7-2 million tons of coal per year at the Svea Mine. This coal is processed at the mine’s own coal preparation plant to produce coal with an ash percentage of 7 or 10 in accordance with the respective field of application. The processed coal is then shipped to European harbors. Approximately two thirds of the extracted coal is supplied to coal-fired power plants in Europe.
The Svea Nord Mine can be accessed via a 6km long main adit that runs through hard rock.
The largest conveyor is located in a 5km long tunnel that is separated from the main adit. The coal seam in the Svea Nord Mine has an average thickness of between 3.5m and 5.0m. Coal is mined using the longwall method with longwall panels that are 250m wide and 4m high on average and that can be up to 3.5km long. The relocation of the 6.500t of longwall equipment is usually carried out within a mere 7 weeks.
The drifts at the Svea Mine are systematically stabilized using geo mesh that is assembled on the support arches and steel mesh and fixed using rock bolts. In the cross cuts, an average of six cable bolts are installed per meter on the steel mesh, while 1.9m long rock bolts are used for the main roadways.
Store Norske entered into a 4-year contract with the mining specialist DSI DRILL TEK Ltd. for the exclusive supply of roof support products at the three mines, Svea Nord, Gruve 7 and Lunckefjell.
DSI not only supplies the rock bolts and the steel mesh necessary for stabilizing the drifts, but also light fiberglass (GRP) bolts and geo mesh. In addition, DSI also supplies resin cartridges, injection resins and consumables such as washer plates, drill steels and drill bits.