Proposing to open for seabed minerals activities
The Norwegian government proposes to open parts of the Norwegian continental shelf for commercial seabed mineral activities.
Norway has significant anticipated mineral resources on the seabed. If proven to be profitable and extraction can be done sustainably, seabed mineral activities can contribute to value creation and employment in Norway while ensuring the supply of crucial metals for the global energy transition.
Extraction of minerals could become a new and important industry for Norway, writes the press release from the government.
Important step forward
– We are very pleased with the opening process moving forward. Norway has all the prerequisites to take a leading role in developing regulations, knowledge and solutions for a responsible seabed mineral industry, says Anette Broch Mathisen Tvedt, CEO of Adepth Minerals.
Adepth Minerals is one of several companies in Norway aiming to become an operator for future seabed minerals activities.
– We will now investigate the details of the suggested framework, which has been proposed by the government and what it will take to apply for exploration licenses, says Anette.
A stepwise process
A lot of work remains; to map and understand the mineral resource potential and deep sea environment before any possible mining licenses might be granted. Possible mining is expected to take place in an area far less than 1% of the proposed opening area.
The government press release states: “Existing knowledge indicates that mapping, exploration, and closure have minimal environmental impact. Any extraction will only be approved if the rights holder’s recovery plan demonstrates that the extraction can occur in a sustainable and responsible manner”.
Adepth Minerals are active in the Eco-Safe Ridge Mining project headed by the University in Bergen, to better map and understand the deep sea ecosystem.
Last year they were granted Green Platform funding for the EMINENT-project to develop a value chain for seabed minerals with less environmental and climate footprint compared to current land-based mining.
– These projects and more to come, will be important for us, the industry at large and the government to strengthen the knowledge both related to the deep sea ecosystem and the resource potential, Anette finishes.
Success is crucial for the energy transition
– We need minerals to succeed in the green transition. Currently, the resources are controlled by a few countries, which makes us vulnerable. Seabed minerals can become a source of access to essential metals, and no other country is better positioned to take the lead in managing such resources sustainably and responsibly. Success will be crucial for the world's long-term energy transition, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland.
– To acquire more knowledge, we need to gather expertise and open for commercial mapping, exploration and extraction of seabed minerals. Therefore, we are proposing to open an area on the Norwegian continental shelf for mineral activities, says Aasland.
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