OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s parliament voted on Tuesday to allow mining exploration of the Arctic seabed, in line with a deal reached between the government and main opposition parties last month, overcoming objections from environmental activists.
The move comes as Norway hopes to become the first country to launch deep-sea mining on a commercial scale and secure essential minerals and jobs, despite concerns over environmental impact and international calls for it. ‘a moratorium.
There is no specific timetable yet for when exploration will begin, although the plan is to grant companies exclusive rights for exploration and potential extraction in specific areas after an application process.
The process will be modeled on that established for oil and gas exploration in Norway, while issues such as taxation will be discussed at a later stage, a senior politician told Reuters.
“We will now see if this can be done sustainably, and this is the step we have taken now,” Energy Minister Terje Aasland told parliament.
The amended version of the government’s proposal, debated on Tuesday, sets stricter requirements for environmental investigation during the exploration phase than initially planned.
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik)
Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters.