Norway Now Focused on Seabed Mining in the NCS

Norway Now Focused on Seabed Mining in the NCS

As the Norwegian oil industry continues to suffer from the lack of demand, the Norges government has all the more reason to focus on its deep-sea mining project.

Currently oil production in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) has been reduced. The Norwegian government, which plays a more controlling role over Norway’s economies has passed a timely legislature that allows mining explorations on the NCS seabed, where large quantities of valuable minerals and precious metals like gold, silver, copper and zinc can be extracted.

Based on preliminary expeditions, it is widely believed that there is a wealth of already dissolved metals and minerals in submerged areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The NCS seabeds are now being considered as the next most important resources in supplementing land reserves. In pursuing the new economic project, the Norwegian Parliament passed the Mineral Activities Act in July 2019.

Introduced for legislation in January 2019, the Norwegian Parliament saw strong opposition coming from the Norwegian Society for Nature Conservation (NSNC). Silje Ask Lundberg, Chairman of the NSNC expressed disapproval on how policy makers are formulating the legislation that would oversee mineral extraction in the NCS seabeds. Lundberg contended that the authorities have been starting at the wrong end, adding that:

Norwegian policymakers are into developing a law that will allow mineral extraction at sea, without first knowing how that will affect the deep sea’s unique ecosystems.

Even Olav Hallset of Norsk Bergindustri, a trade association that works toward sustainable mining operations, admits that although deep-sea mining presents economic opportunities, it also comes with great risks for the environment.


Key Takeaways of Norway’s Mineral Activities Act

Norway’s new Mineral Activities Act provides the guidelines in awarding permits for all exploration and recovery of subsea minerals in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, which were mostly based on the legislation for oil and gas operations in the NCS. The following are the key takeaways of the new legislation:

1.  All explorations and recovery of subsea minerals will observe environmentally friendly and safe resource management.

2.  The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) will have the exclusive right and responsibility to manage the resources on behalf of the Norwegian State, which will retain ownership of all unrecovered mineral deposits.

3..In managing the resources, the MPE will first carry out impact assessment before opening a geographical area for mineral activities, and before production licenses for mineral activities will be awarded. .

4.  The awarding of licenses will be for a specific geographical area based on public bidding processes; whilst requiring license bidders to submit a detailed plan for recovery and operations, which the licensee will observe all times during mining activities.

5.  Production licenses will be in effect for a period of 10 years, and can be extended for a period of 20 years,but subject tomthe condition that all activities at all times were carried out in accordance with the plan for recovery and operations submitted.

6.  Upon completion of every recovery from seabed to sea level in a geographical area, the licensee will have ownership of the extracted minerals.

Seabed mining is projected to become a multi-billion industry, which if successful, will make Norway even richer than it already is. That is why Norwegian consumers can easily avail of any of the beste lånene i norge uten kredittsjekk (best loans in Norway without credit check) at their disposal, since they are the main beneficiaries of their country’s economies.