In addition to uncertainties regarding the environmental impact, there are geopolitical questions, as other countries are also claiming the designated area.
Norway’s plans for deep-sea mining are becoming more concrete. On Tuesday, parliament approved the government’s proposal to open up an area in the North Atlantic for the exploration and extraction of mineral resources. According to the news agency Reuters, it is planned that companies will be able to apply for licenses for certain areas, similar to the practice already in place for oil and gas exploration. Norwegian and environmental activists from abroad gathered outside the Norwegian parliament on Tuesday afternoon to protest against the decision, reports the Norwegian business newspaper E24, as undersea mining is controversial due to its unclear impact on the environment. Supporters, on the other hand, point to the rising prices for many raw materials and the heavy dependence on a few producing countries.
The area that could now potentially become the world’s first location for large-scale deep-sea mining is located in the Arctic between Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland. Financial Times wrote last December that this could lead to geopolitical tensions, as the Scandinavian country’s exclusive claims are disputed by Russia, the European Union and the United Kingdom. The last word is therefore unlikely to have been spoken on this matter.