Minerals Act (2010)

Last updated: 11 December 2023

The Minerals Act was enacted in 2010 to promote the socially responsible use of mineral resources within Norwegian territory in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The Act regulates permitting, rights, standards and procedures concerning mineral exploration and extraction. 
The following interests are safeguarded under the Act:

  • value creation and industrial and commercial development;
  • the foundation of Sami culture, commercial activity and social life;
  • the surroundings and nearby areas while operations are being carried out;
  • the environmental consequences of extraction; and
  • long-term planning relating to subsequent use or reclamation of the area.

Chapter 1, Section 7 of the Act defines the following minerals as "minerals owned by the State:" metals with a specific gravity of 5 grammes/cm3 or greater, including chromium, manganese, molybdenum, niobium, vanadium, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, silver, gold, cobalt, lead, platinum, tin, zinc, zirconium, tungsten, uranium, cadmium and thorium, and ores of such metals (with the exception of alluvial gold), the metals titanium and arsenic, and ores of these, pyrrhotite and pyrite.

Sámi consultation
The duty to give notice mandates informing the landowner, users and, in Finnmark, the Sámi Parliament and relevant reindeer management boards. Special attention is given to Sámi communities (siidas) through oral notice whenever possible. The exploration permit application process involves the Directorate of Mining, with limitations on the number of permits granted for a given area. In Finnmark, specific provisions address Sámi interests, requiring reasonable steps to obtain information and providing the Sámi Parliament and local boards an opportunity to comment. The duty to give notice for exploration activities includes comprehensive communication with various stakeholders, emphasizing Sámi Parliament and reindeer management boards, along with oral notice to siidas.

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