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The last Norwegian coal mine on the Svalbard archipelago will produce coal for another two years to help bolster industrial production in Europe.

Mine 7 will continue production of bituminous coal, used primarily in the steel industry, until July 2025, the government said on Friday. The mine, which was due to close in 2023, delivers about 80 000 metric tons of coal to the metallurgical and chemical industry in Europe.

Steel makers are currently completely dependent on such industrial coal, until hydrogen and other emission-free technologies come into place during this decade, the ministry said.

“There is war and great uncertainty about access to critical raw materials,” Trade and Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre said. “This also applies to steel production in Europe, on which we are completely dependent.”