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Marine Minerals Optimism

Tina Bru, Norwegian Minster of Petroleum and Energy gave an optimistic opening speach at the Marine Minerals – One Day Seminar 3 June 2021.
Tina Bru, Norwegian Minster of Petroleum and Energy gave an optimistic opening speach at the Marine Minerals – One Day Seminar 3 June 2021.

Tina Bru is optimistic with respect to the opportunities within marine minerals. “We have the best starting point for what could become a new and important ocean industry for Norway”, she stated to the +400 attendees when she opened our Marine Minerals Seminar in June.

There is a demand which is likely to increase and the resources are both present and accessible at the Norwegian continental shelf.

The minister stated that the Norwegian government will do their part. She finished with engouraging the audience to work together to develop the technologies and methods needed to harvest in a sustainable way.

See the entire opening speek from Tina Bru:

Great Interest for Marine Minerals

Cecilie Myklatun, Chief Specialist Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, stated that they received 50 replies to the proposal for impact assessment programme before the deadline 12 April.

There is a great interest within marine minerals and several actors are positioning themselves to apply for licences. The Ministry is in the process of going through the comments received, with the aim of finalising the programme before summer 2021. The decision concerning the opening is currently planned in Q2 of 2023. Myklatun stated that there will be made certain adjustments to the programme based on the input received, but she does not expect any major changes.

Mismatch Between Climate Ambition and Avalibility of Critical Minerals

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently released the report “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions”. Executive Director of the IEA, Fatih Birol, said “the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions”.

Professor Miguel Miranda, President of IPMA, Portugal’s national ocean laboratory, was one of the excellent presenters at our seminar. Mirande stated that underwater mining is not a future, but a present. It will expand globally in the medium term, but even marine resources are finite and “circular management of critical resources” will be needed. Miranda encouraged the audience to understand the world and listening to the people. “Dependency on external sources for critical raw materials is clear for decision-makers, but unclear to citizens.”

We must work towards, and show that marine minerals are needed in the energy transition and how this can bridge us into a circular management.

Need for more Joint Research and Innovation Programmes

Karoline Andaur, CEO WWF Norway, presented a joint call supported by BMW Group, Samsung SDI, Google and Volvo for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining. They believe our understanding and dependancy of the ocean is not well enough understood to start deep seabed mining.

Even if the point of views are different, it appears that all agree that more deep sea research and innovation is required. Arne Myhrvold, Senior Advisor Sustainability in Equinor believes we need to take one step at the time. Marine minerals might be a future industry, but today we know too little about the resource potential and environmental aspects to conclude. Myhrvold mentioned a joint reseach proposal they have together with the University of Bergen and others, to learn more about the deep sea environment. He stated that it will be very difficult to get internal funding for such deep sea research programms if there are no possibilities for a future industry.

- I believe that a joint effort from the publich, industry, research institute and universities will be the best way forward. Industry has very much to offer to speed up deep sea research and innovation. A moratorium if very likely to drasticaly slow down our joint work to explore, understand and utilize deep sea resourced in a sustainable way, says Jon Hellevang R&D Manager GCE Ocean Technology.

Interesting Technology Development

Several prestenters gave their insight into exciting technology development. Bjarne Neumann, Managing Director, TIOS presented the experience from the world's first coil tubing coring operation for marine minerals exploration in 2020. Adepth Minerals and Loke Marine Minerals presented new ideas for exploration and exploitation.

We also had very interesting views from leading intenational companies. IHC Mining presented results from testing of centrifugal pump inluding testing in Norwegian fjords together with NTNU. John Parianos Manager Exploration in DSMF reminded us that we are compeating agains land based exploration with two men and one beat up sampling truck taking 500 samples a day.

Will Repeat the Success Next Year

Jon Hellevang, R&D Manager in GCE Ocean Technology and head of the programme committee stated that they plan to arrange a similar seminar next year. Tentatively 2 June 2022, which again, will be the first Thursday in June. The interest within marine minerals is growing and there is a huge interest in presenting views from both national and internation actors.

You can download the presentation from our webpage.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang


The Marine Minerals – One Day Seminar was presented by GCE Ocean Technology and the Norwegian forum for Marine Minerals (NMM) 3 June 2021 and had approximately 400 attendees.

The seminar was divided in to four sessions:

  • Legal framework
  • Resource potential and exploration technology
  • Environmental aspects
  • Autonomous systems and production technology.