Blog

The world's northernmost and southernmost mines (Part One)

The world’s northernmost mines

The cold fringe of the planet is also home to some of the world’s most productive mines. The world’s top ten northernmost mines are all concentrated in three countries: Norway, Russia, and Canada.

In terms of production, Norway is home to the four top mines, all of which are underground coal mines in the Arctic Ocean. Norway's Svalbard archipelago is a freezing, rugged environment. The mines operate on this archipelago, which lies between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Three of them are owned by the same company: Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani.

Store Norske, as they're happy to be called, was formed in 1916 after the Norwegians purchased the American Arctic Coal Company. As the northernmost mining company in the world, the employees at Store Norske are subject to some of the harshest environmental conditions of any of the world’s workers. Store Norske has 250 employees, with the head office in Longyearbyen supporting the local community.

The next northernmost mine is in Russia, but just south of that is the one Canadian mine that makes the map. In Mary River, Northern Canada, further north than Iceland, Baffinland Iron Mines operate an open-pit iron ore mine. This is a relatively new mine, with operations beginning in September 2014. The first shipment of ore from the mine only left on a ship in August 2015. When you are operating this far north, daylight hours are limited. The sun sets in November and only rises again in January.

The rest of the top ten mines found in the northernmost part of the world are all in Russia. The two northernmost mines within Russia are both diamond mines, while the third is open-pit and mines valuable metals and minerals, including copper, cobalt, gold, and platinum, among many others. The tenth northernmost mine is in Russia and is an underground mine that also mines special minerals and metals, including nickel.

National Plant & Equipment specialise in mining equipment hire and mining equipment for sale. If you need equipment for mining in the southernmost region of the world, we have the mining equipment that suits Australia’s rugged and variable environmental conditions.

In part two, we will cover the world’s southernmost mines, including Australia mining. Mining in Australia faces very different challenges. Read about gold mining and other ore and mineral mining in part two of this series on the world’s northernmost and southernmost mines, brought to you by National Plant & Equipment.