Norway approves plan to dump mining waste at sea

The Guardian reports, 17th April 2015: “Environmentalists promised civil disobedience after Norway’s government approved a controversial plan for a mining company to dump millions of tonnes of waste into a fjord.

Campaigner Anne-Line Thingnes Førsund looks out over Norway’s Førde Fjord, where the mining company Nordic Mining has been approved to dump 6m tonnes of waste a year.

Photograph: Luka Tomac/Friends Of the Earth

Photograph: Luka Tomac/Friends Of the Earth

“This is a fjord full of life — to smother it with toxins is insane,” said Arnstein Vestre, president of Young Friends of the Earth Norway, which has been part of protests against the plan. “We have 600 people ready to do civil disobedience actions, and we will not stop until the fjord is safe,” he said.

Announcing its approval of the project on Friday, industry minister Monica Mæland said there would be strict environmental controls and monitoring of waste matter. “If Norway wants future workplaces and welfare, we must be competitive,” she said. “The minerals industry can be a motor for business and jobs in rural areas.” The mine could generate up to 500 jobs, she said.

Nordic Mining, a Norwegian company, plans to mine Engebø mountain in south-west Norway for rutile, a titanium mineral used for pigments in paint, plastics and paper. It acquired the rights to the Engebø deposit in 2006, and the price of rutile has subsequently risen fourfold. The deposit at Engebø is one of the richest in the world.

Controversially, over the anticipated 50-year life of the mine, the company plans to dump millions of tonnes of waste from its operations into the adjacent Førde Fjord, one of the country’s most important spawning grounds for cod and salmon and a site where whales and porpoises congregate.

Source: The Guardian, 17th April 2015. For the full text, see www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/17/norway-approves-mines-controversial-plan-to-dump-waste-into-fjord


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