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Reppardfjord/Nussir copper mining case, Norway

The company Nussir ASA plans a large copper mine in the inner part of the Reppardfjord, a rich fishing fjord hosting Norwegian and Sámi fishers. The project also disrupts the livelihoods of the reindeer herding Sámi community.


The company Nussir ASA seeks to extract 50 000 tonnes of Copper ore annually through sub-surface mining at two deposits located at Nussir and Ulveryggen in the inner part of the Reppardjford. Together providing the largest known copper deposits in Norway at 74 million tonnes of copper ore. Prior mining has taken place at Ulveryggen which the company seeks to reopen, as well as opening a new shaft at Nussir.  Both shafts, as well as all current and new buildings, roads, equipment and activities will take place on Sámi reindeer herding land. The terrestrial area is grazing and calving land for district 22 Fiettar and the Ulveryggen shaft blocks the migration path between summer and winter pastures for district 20 Fálá. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Reppardfjord/Nussir copper mining case, Norway
State or province:Finnmark
Location of conflict:Kvalsund municipality
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tailings from mines
Mineral ore exploration
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Copper
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Deposits: 74 million tonnes of copper ore

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Level of Investment:150,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,000 - 4 000 people
Start of the conflict:2014
Company names or state enterprises:Nussir ASA from Norway - Extractor
Relevant government actors:Norwegian Government
Norwegian Environmantal Agency
Sámi Parliament
International and Finance InstitutionsCredit Suisse (CS) from Switzerland
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Friends of the Earth/Naturvernforbundet (
Nature and Youth (
Bivdi (Sea-Sámi fishing organisation)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsImpact on Sámi reindeer pasture land and also on salmon fisheries
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The process has provided the negatively impacted stakeholders with no real power to influence the process. The government and the company do not listen to the right-bearers in the community, neither do they take the IA on reindeer pastorlism seriously.
The expected negative impacts will be shifted upon the current users of the natural resources, especially the Sámi reindeer pastoralists and fisherfolk.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Rør, Anders. V. (2018). Mining or traditional use? Conflicts in the Northern Norwegian copper frontier. Master thesis (60 ECTS) at Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NMBU.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(1) Government gives thumbs up for mining company, will be allowed to dump wastes in Arctic fjord. Amid big protests from environmentalists and the Sami Parliament. By Atle Staalesen.

December 20, 2016
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(4) Can Norway's Sami score another success against mining? Published by MAC on 2015-12-10
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(2) High North News. 22 Dec. 2016. The new Sami Parliament Council is opposed to the mining project in Repparfjorden ... Nussir’s plans are the new Alta controversy. (This refers to massive protests in the late 1970s and early 1980s concerning the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in the Alta river in Finnmark, Northern Norway.)
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(3). New Internationalist. Risking fjords for profit? Norway’s dirty mining story. 2 October 2014.
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Norwegian documentary about the fishermen's conflict
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Other documents

Source: Young Friends of the Earth, Norway.
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Meta information
Contributor:Anders Vieth Rør, former student at Norwegian University of Life Sciences, EJ Activist (email:[email protected])
Last update17/07/2018
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