Green light from Norway to deep sea mining

Norway, known for its environmental policies, has announced that it will allow commercial deep-sea mining exploration in parts of its seabed.

In a press release issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Energy, it was stated that commercial deep-sea mining explorations will be allowed in some of the country’s seabeds to extract rare minerals needed for “green transformation”.

In the statement made by Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Aasland, it was stated that Norway has important mineral resources in its deep sea beds, and that these minerals can offer a new and important opportunity for Norway to carry out the “green transformation” of the country.

Stating that these minerals are “controlled by several countries and this makes them vulnerable”, Aasland noted that seabed minerals can be a source of access to important metals.

Noting that they have more extensive experience than other countries to extract these resources in a sustainable and responsible way, Aasland said, “Norway aims to become a world leader in deep-sea mining with its knowledge and skill-based management.”

Emphasizing that deep-sea mining explorations will be carried out by taking into account environmental sensitivities, Aasland added that companies will be allowed to mine, provided that the aforementioned sensitivities are complied with.

Known for its environmentalist policies, Norway is also Europe’s leading oil and gas producer.

It was noteworthy that Norway’s statement came one day after the United Nations member states accepted the first agreement that established the legal framework to extend their environmental protection areas to international waters, which constitute more than 60 percent of the world’s oceans.

deep sea mining

Deep seabed mining refers to the process of extracting commercially valuable minerals such as manganese, copper, cobalt, zinc and rare earth metals from mineral deposits on the seafloor.

Scientists say the noise caused by deep-sea mining could cause irreparable harm to marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.

Rare elements used in industry are found in a wide variety of devices, both everyday and high-tech, from light bulbs to guided missiles.

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