The Coal Mines. Coal, present in large quantities in Spitsbergen whale was already known in 1610. But it was only with the industrialization of Europe and North America as coal mining became interesting Spitsbergen. The richness of the deposits, the quality of the rock and the horizontal seams have promoted exploitation. This is the Norwegian Zachariassen back in 1899 that the first cargo from Bohemanneset in Tromsø Isfjord up for sale, it is the beginning of a commercial but then everything goes very fast: a series of new firms will emerge with different fates. Many hopes are born but disappointment followed marked the beginning of operations, such as marble mine in Bloomstrandhalvøya Kongsfjord. A British company is created in 1900-1901, the Northern Exploration Company (NEC), headed by Ernest Mansfield, but this attempt ended in failure. As part of its efforts to maintain sovereignty over Svalbard, Norway buys plots and subsidizes Norwegian companies. Built in 1905 the first mining Anglo-Norwegian Advent City, on the north shore of Adventfjord. It will stop its activities in 1908. In 1906 the American investor John Munroe Longyear, who created the Arctic Coal Company, founded Longyear City, which became Norwegian in 1916 and called Longyearbyen in 1926. Roger.
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