Deep distrust of Norway’s deep-sea mining

Deep distrust of Norway's deep-sea mining

NORWEGIAN SEA: Deep-sea prospecting could begin in 2025 Photo credit: CC/Finn Rindahl

Norway, which already produces more oil and gas than any other European country, could be the first to authorise deep-sea mining.

“The Energy ministry has presented a proposal for announcing the first licensing round for seabed minerals on the Norwegian continental shelf for public consultation,” the government said on June 26.

“The proposal sets out the areas where companies will be able to apply for exploitation licenses, so that exploration and gathering knowledge can begin,” the official statement continued.

In April this year, the Norwegian government revealed that it was opening up an exploration area in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas and was looking to award the first licences during the first six months of 2025.

A month later the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) declared that it would take legal action, accusing the government of carrying out inadequate impact studies.

Oslo argued that exploring this zone would reveal whether there was a “sustainable mineral exploitation on the Norwegian shelf.”  Should investigators establish that this was not possible, deep-sea mining would not be permitted, the government said.

Other countries including the UK and France have called for a temporary halt to mining, but Norway’s government claims that prospecting would enable scientists to decide whether this could go ahead without seriously impacting the environment.

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate concluded at the beginning of 2023 that the seabed contained “substantial resources” including the copper, zinc and cobalt.

All are vital for manufacturing mobile phones, wind turbines, computers and batteries but supplies are currently controlled by China or “authoritarian countries”, the Norwegian government has pointed out.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at