The Norwegian Forum for Marine Minerals

The Norwegian Forum for Marine Minerals (NMM) is an association of industry and research actors who work together to develop knowledge and expertise, and a Norwegian industry aimed at sustainable and responsible exploration and extraction of marine mineral resources.

NMM’s Goals

The Norwegian Forum for Marine Minerals aims to:

  • Strengthen cooperation between industry, trade and research environments, authorities and other organisations and persons with interests in marine minerals.
  • Become an industry organisation for all relevant actors in the field of marine minerals.
  • Contribute to developing common Norwegian strategies for sustainable exploration and extraction of marine mineral resources.
  • Be a national mouthpiece for the extraction of marine minerals.
  • Strengthen the Norwegian environment’s international contact and influence in the field of marine minerals. This means, inter alia, contributing to the establishment of and participation in international networks of corresponding forums.


The Necessity of Marine Minerals

The worldwide need for minerals is increasing rapidly. The global energy transition, or green shift, is a key driver for the expected resource requirements during the next decades, as increased supply of a range of minerals is a prerequisite for emerging industry areas such as batteries, wind power, solar power, and electric infrastructure. As such, climate change requires access to minerals. In addition, expected population growth, and economic growth in developing nations, add to the expected global resource needs.

Today, minerals are being extracted from land-based deposits. Existing, and new, land-based mines can only partially cover the global resource requirements. Although new solutions are being developed to improve capabilities within recycling, such solutions will merely alleviate the situation, not solve it.

We believe that the extraction of marine mineral deposits can be the solution to securing the global supply of necessary mineral resources. What is more, mineral deposits have been found on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. These have been found both in the form of so-called massive sulphides (which contain lead, zinc, copper, gold and silver) and manganese crusts (which contain manganese, iron, as well as titan, cobalt, nickel, cerium, zirconium, and rare earth elements).


Toward a Norwegian Marine Minerals Industry

Although we do not yet know the full extent of the resource potential within Norwegian territories, marine mineral extraction represents a significant market potential for Norway.  With world leading expertise from both its offshore oil and gas industry and from land-based mining, Norway is well positioned to develop technological capabilities for a sustainable marine minerals industry.

In 2019, the Norwegian government established legislation with regards to the country’s marine mineral resources. The government also recently initiated a process of opening for mineral extraction on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. However, there are important questions that need answering before concluding if we are on the threshold of a new resource adventure in the North Sea – environmental, technological, and financial. NMM works to contribute in solving these questions.


Resources and Further Information

Together with a number of partners, NMM has contributed as a sponsor to Rystad Energy’s report Marine Minerals – Norwegian Value Creation Potential. The report, which gives a more detailed overview of marine minerals on the Norwegian continental shelf, can be found here (external link).

In January 2021, the Norwegian government initiated a process of opening for mineral extraction on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. To read the initial Forslag til program for konsekvensutredning, click here (external link – Norwegian only).

To see an overview of NMM’s member organisations, click here.