Mining of minerals ranging from copper to rare earths is being examined. Environmental groups call for a halt to exploration.
After the Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB caused a stir a few weeks ago with the discovery of a large deposit of rare earths, neighboring Norway is now following suit. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, which has carried out a corresponding study, speaks of “substantial” quantities of metals and minerals – from copper to rare earth metals – in the Norwegian seabed.
Whether the mineral resources can be mined, however, can only be clarified by further investigations. This also applies to the possible effects on the environment. As CNN reports, environmental organizations had already called on Norway to postpone further exploration until studies on the possible consequences of resource extraction on this habitat were available. The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is generally opposed to deep-sea mining and points to other ways to meet the growing demand for critical minerals, such as through the development of a circular economy.