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Home* News and Stories → Nor­way opens lar­ge are­as in the north Atlan­tic for deep sea mining

Nor­way opens lar­ge are­as in the north Atlan­tic for deep sea mining

Nor­way opens lar­ge are­as in the north Atlan­tic for deep sea mining. The coali­ti­on under prime minis­ter Jonas Gahr Stø­re went in for this pro­ject which was now accept­ed by the Stort­ing (Nor­we­gi­an par­lia­ment) on Tues­day, 09 Janu­ary 2024.

Thus, a huge area bet­ween Spits­ber­gen, Jan May­en and Nor­way is now open for deep sea mining.

Map deep sea mining

Map with the area that is now open for deep sea mining (pur­ple).
Source: Meld. St. 25 (2022–2023)

Lar­ge amounts of important and valuable mine­rals are expec­ted in the­se are­as, inclu­ding 38 mil­li­on tons of cop­per, 45 mil­li­on tons of zinc, 185 mil­li­on tons of man­gane­se, 229.300 tons of lithi­um and many more. The­se figu­res are actual­ly rough esti­ma­tes quo­ted from a govern­ment stra­tegy paper (Mel­ding til Stort­in­get 25), the exact size of poten­ti­al occur­ren­ces is unknown as the oce­an flo­or in gene­ral. The paper empha­si­s­es the stra­te­gic value of the­se mine­rals for rene­wa­ble ener­gies and bat­te­ries and depen­den­ci­es on glo­bal mar­kets.

Both Nor­we­gi­an and inter­na­tio­nal envi­ron­men­ta­lists oppo­se to deep sea mining. Oce­an flo­ors are the lar­gest still almost com­ple­te­ly are­as of pla­net Earth. Sci­en­tists expect high bio­di­ver­si­ty and unknown eco­sys­tems in the deep sea, which may suf­fer sever­ely from deep sea mining. They also fear signi­fi­cant nega­ti­ve con­se­quen­ces, among­st others, on the abili­ty of the oce­ans and oce­an flo­ors to accu­mu­la­te and store the green­house gas CO2 and impact of mining on mari­ne wild­life such as wha­les.

The­re are so far no inter­na­tio­nal regu­la­ti­ons for deep sea mining. The Inter­na­tio­nal Seabed Aut­ho­ri­ty (ISA) works on such regu­la­ti­ons, but a result is not expec­ted befo­re 2025.

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last modification: 2024-01-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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