Deposits: 74 million tonnes of copper ore
Extraction: 50 000 tonnes of copper concentrate/yr
Sea-tailings: Up to 2 million tonnes of waste.
Norway is one of the few countries in the world which allow dumping of mining wastes to sea. The Nussir field was discovered in the late 1970s and is the biggest copper deposit ever found in Norway. The field is located in Kvalsund, a municipality on the Barents Sea coast. The project is 100 percent owned by company Nussir ASA. (1) The tailings from the mine will be deposited in the fjord, a total of 30 million tonnes of toxic mining tailings over a period of 20 years. (3).
Nussir’s plans are like a new Alta controversy.(2). (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.)
As reported by Mines and Communities in 2015, Norway gave permission to a domestic company to dispose of its mine wastes into a major pristine northern fjord. (4). And this, by a government known throughout the world for its "ethical" investment stance that has seen its national Pension Fund disinvest from a number of mining outfits for similar unacceptable practices over the last decade. The villain in this particular piece is Nussir ASA, which dubs the intended practice as "sea tailings placement". Others will know it as "submarine tailings disposal" or, quite simply "dumping". It's now widely condemned across the world. (4).