The Norwegian government is seeking
to attract miners to the country and has developed a strategy
for the minerals industry to do this by promoting the
countrys deposits and publicising the industries that are
already in place and working.
The 72-page Strategy for the
Mineral Industry was released in 2013 and outlines the
geographic location of deposits of minerals such as olivine,
graphite, limestone, dolomite and rutile; as well as providing
details of mining legislation in Norway.
According to the government, and as
a starting point, a forum is to be established following the
demand for minerals and metals has resulted in higher prices
and increased interest in the mineral resources of Norway.
There is increasing optimism in the minerals industry and many
minerals companies are active in exploiting the opportunities
that lie in Norways geology, Trond Giske, then
Minister of Trade and Industry, explained.
The government has worked to
simplify the legal framework for operations in the mining
industry. In 2010 a new Minerals Act was presented which
replaced the five acts that were in place for mining and
mineral businesses alike. This, the government said at the
time, was an important step towards simplifying the minerals
sector and boosting transparency.
When it comes to the
unimaginable values in our bedrock, we leave far too much to
chance. This must stop. These values must also be managed in a
sustainable way and for the benefit of the population,
Arne Haugen, spokesperson for the Minerals Act in the Storting
(Parliament), said at the time.
Prices driving growth
The main driver behind the strategy
is to develop an already profitable minerals industry in Norway
that in turn is expected to open up new mining opportunities in
the country. In 2011, the Norwegian minerals industry had a
turnover of Norwegian kroner (NKr) 12.4bn ($2.04bn*) and
employed 6,000 people.
Industrial minerals contributed NKr
2.9bn ($0.47bn) to this figure, almost 25%. The total export of
industrial minerals amounted to NKr 2.3bn ($0.38bn), which
means that nearly 80% of industrial mineral production in
Norway, in terms of value, is exported.
Markets for mineral resources
have changed significantly in recent years. Prices for many
minerals and metals have increased. Given continued growth in
the world economy, there is reason to assume that the prices of
many minerals and metals will, in the future, be at a higher
level than today, the Strategy stated.
The four major export
products in 2011 were iron ore concentrate, coal, ground
calcium carbonate and crushed rock. Other important export
minerals are stone blocks (primarily larvikite), ilmenite,
olivine, nepheline syenite and quartz/quartzite, the
A significant amount of
industrial minerals production is linked to the production of
dolomite and marble. The number of companies involved is
approximately 20. Hustadmarmor in M¿re and Romsdal is
the worlds largest supplier of ground marble filler to
the paper industry. Norway is also the worlds largest
producer of olivine, it added.
On Senja, Skaland Graphite AS
extracts flake graphite and is one of only two producers in
Europe of this mineral, the Strategy outlined.
*Conversions made February 2014