Norwegian Mineral Strategy

Last updated: 12 December 2023

The Minister of Trade and Industry presented Norway's Mineral Strategy in June 2023 with the stated goal of developing the country's mineral industry as the most sustainable in the world. The strategy primarily focuses on expediting the production of strategic and critical minerals through a "fast-track system."
Part 1 of the Strategy provides an overview of existing legislation and context related to the mineral sector in Norway. The Strategy relies on the EU's list of strategic and critical minerals but acknowledges the possibility of national variations in the future. With regard to seabed mining, the Strategy expresses the wish of the government to facilitate profitable mineral activities of the sulphide and ferromanganese crusts in the Norwegian continental shelf, which are known to contain copper, zinc, cobalt, gold, iron and manganese.
Part 2 of the Strategy identifies five key areas of focus for minerals policy going forward, accompanied by relevant proposed measures:

  1. Quicker implementation of mineral projects
    • Reduce processing times and streamline permitting procedures
    • Designate the Directorate of Mining with the Commissioner of Mines at Svalbard (DMF) as the 'nationally competent authority' to create a 'one-stop shop' for mineral projects
    • Prioritise critical minerals projects with minimal environmental impact
    • Strengthen the Geological Survey of Norway's mineral mapping with particular attention to areas with critical mineral potential
    • Establish a 'mineral compass' tool to reduce conflicts of interest for mineral stakeholders
    • Commission the Research Council of Norway to research mineral value chain and technology development 
  2. Contribution to the circular economy
    • Appoint an expert committee to assess mine waste disposal methods
    • Require new mineral projects to present a circular business plan and plan for the annual reduction of extractive waste
    • Avoid the disposal of tailings except where there is no technically or economically feasible alternative
    • Map and characterise tailing dams and landfills for future exploitation
  3. Sustainability
    • Facilitate the establishment of Norway's first 'green mineral park'
    • Adopt a zero vision for chemicals that are not environmentally certified
    • Aim for all new major projects to use zero-emission machinery and vehicles by 2030 
    • Require projects to demonstrate a plan that entails the least encroachment upon nature as possible
    • Facilitate increased engagement with the Sami Parliament and organisations, including through regulatory changes for earlier dialogue in minerals projects, an indigenous compensation scheme and a dedicated guide for mineral activity on traditional Sami land
  4. Access to private capital for mineral projects 
    • Consider the establishment of a separate state-owned mineral company or fund for critical raw material projects
    • Consider possible economic and industrial policy measures to stimulate increased extraction of critical raw materials, increased value creation in the mineral industry, more sustainable mineral activities and increased benefit for local communities from mineral extraction
  5. Stable supply of raw materials for green value chains
    • Strengthen long-term EU and Nordic cooperation on strategic mineral production and value chain development
    • Work to ensure that Norway’s participation in the Minerals Security Partnership promotes the development of more sustainable supply lines, and creates opportunities for further development of the Norwegian mineral, processing and recycling industries

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