Companies are looking for Norway seabed permits

23rd May 2024 Companies are looking for Norway seabed permits

Two comapnies are in the game

Reuters has informed that on Wednesday, two companies announced their intention to explore offshore seabed areas on the Norwegian continental shelf, marking the potential start of a groundbreaking new mining industry. Norway is poised to become the first country to commercially produce metals like copper, cobalt, zinc, and rare earth elements (REE) from its continental shelf—crucial for the transition away from oil and gas.

Nominations for seabed acreage, submitted by the May 21 deadline, will shape Norway’s first seabed mineral exploration licensing round later this year. Up to today, Terje Aasland Norway’s Energy Ministry didn’t comment on the developments.

Significant resource potential

Startup Loke Marine Minerals, backed by Technip, Wilhelmsen, and KONGSBERG, nominated numerous blocks rich in cobalt and REEs. „We are encouraged by the significant resource potential and look forward to the first licensing round,” said CEO Walter Sognnes.

Oslo-listed Green Minerals nominated four areas and anticipates the first ore from pilot production by 2028.

Environmental impacts

Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, have called for a global moratorium on seabed mining due to potentially irreversible harm to little-researched marine life. The Norwegian government emphasizes that the exploration phase will help gauge the environmental impact and increase understanding of seabed ecosystems.

Future plans

Norwegian oil firm Aker BP ASA remains silent on whether it has submitted nominations but has previously shown interest. The government plans to issue the first licenses by 2025, with separate approvals required for production to commence. Parliament, which opened vast areas in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas to this new industry in January, must approve the initial projects

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