Norway’s Controversial Deep-Sea Mining Plans - Pager Power
+44 1787 319001

Norway’s Controversial Deep-Sea Mining Plans

Norway’s Controversial Deep-Sea Mining Plans
June 29, 2023 Kai Frolic

Mining for resources is a longstanding industry. Up to now, mining around the world is predominantly terrestrial or in (relatively) shallow coastal waters.

However, mineral deposits exist at greater depths in the ocean. Access to these resources would require deep sea mining, which refers to the extraction of minerals at depths of 200 metres or more [1]

norway's deep-sea mining plansFigure 1: Offshore rig. [4]

Impacts of Deep-Sea Mining

Advocates of deep-sea mining consider that the practice is necessary in order to harvest minerals required for things like the green transition, and that it could even be done sustainably.

Opponents of the practice are mostly concerned over impacts on the ecosystem, due to the disruption of habitats. These concerns are compounded by the fact that deep-sea mining is a relatively new endeavour.

Norway’s Plans

Norway’s government has reportedly [2] signalled an interest in potentially green-lighting deep-sea mining in its own waters.

This has drawn concerns from many including:

  • Greenpeace;
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); and, perhaps most embarrassingly:
  • Norway’s environmental agency.

The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is also opposed to deep-sea mining in general, having called just this month for a moratorium on the practice.

If the proposed mining was to go ahead, it would give Norway access to valuable rare-earth metals which are deposited on its seabed.

Green Energy in Norway

Norway is, in many ways, blessed when it comes to energy. Hydroelectricity is readily available in Norway, and renewable energy sources made up a staggering 98% of the country’s electricity in 2020 [3].

The country also has access to oil and gas, which makes it a significant energy exporter, and a very wealthy country in general.

Whether or not Norway goes ahead with deep-sea mining in the near future remains to be seen. However, in all likelihood it is a case of if, not when, we begin experimenting with this new access route to valuable resources.

About Pager Power

Pager Power is a dedicated consultancy that has been helping renewable energy and property developers overcome constraints on their projects for over 20 years. Our core areas are aviation safety, telecommunications, glare and shadow flicker. We are proud to support developers at all stages of their projects.


[1] Issues Brief (undated), Deep-sea mining, International Union for Conservation of Nature (link), last accessed June 2023.
[2] Smith, I (June 2023), Environment groups condemn Norway’s move to open its waters to deep sea mining, Euronews (link), last accessed June 2023.
[3] IEA (2022), Norway 2022, International Energy Agency (link), last accessed June 2023.
[4] Zachary Theodore, January 2020 from Last accessed on June 29th 2023. Available at:


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Make an Enquiry

You can make an enquiry here

    Your Name (required)Your Email (required)Subject Your Message