Huge mineral resources on Norwegian shelf

Mineral resources form in areas with volcanic activity (Photo: NOAA)

According to new scientific estimates the sea bottom within the Norwegian economic zone can hold resources worth as much as NOK 1000 billion (€118,5 billion).


Research by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) shows that there are considerable amounts of copper, zinc, silver and metallic sulfides on the sea bottom. Scientists have analyzed the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an area with volcanic activity that has created Jan Mayen and Iceland.

In the volcanic areas boiling sea water extracts minerals and metals from the bottom. When this comes into contact with cold water, gold, silver, copper, cobalt, zinc and lead is precipitated.

NTNU, Statoil and Nordic Ocean Resources AS have teamed up in a research project to see what mineral resources the Mid-Atlantic Ridge holds. The methods are the same as in exlploration fofr oil and gas resources.  

The researchers believe it is possible to exploit the mineral resources on the sea bottom.

“The considerable size of the estimate gives reason for continuation of the project in order to enhance knowledge of Norway’s marine mineral resources and how these can be managed in a sustainable way”, says dean Ingvald Strømmen to NTNU’s web site.