Norway found treasure at the bottom of the sea.  These are valuable raw materials from the list of important minerals

Rare earth metals are a group of 17 metals used in new technologies, including the production of electronics (smartphones, Computerstelevision sets), renewable energy (batteries for electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines) and defense (jet engines, guidance and missile defense systems, satellites, GPS).

With the development of these technologies, the demand for rare earth metals is increasing. Meanwhile, their production is mainly concentrated in one hand – the Chinese. China accounts for about 60% of the production of these minerals (followed by: USA – 16 percent, Myanmar – 9 percent i Australia – 8 percent). No wonder other countries, led by the United States, are trying to increase their capabilities in this field. For this reason, reports on new deposits of valuable raw materials are of great interest. And recently we had two such reports, both from Europe, both from the north of the continent.

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Valuable resources on target. Norway with a potential big discovery

Latest for Norway. Last Friday, January 27, the government agency the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD, no. Oljedirektoratet) published a communication regarding the assessment of seabed mineral resources on the Norwegian continental shelf. This is the first respect of its kind. Moreover, studies have shown that the sea floor belonging to Norway contains large amounts of minerals and minerals.

“The NPD’s assessment of seafloor mineral resources includes estimates for existing resources; in other words, resources that are proven or expected to be present,” the statement reads.

It included, among other things, copper, which is 38 million tons on the Norwegian shelf — twice as much, according to Reuters, as is mined annually worldwide. The Norwegians also write that there is zinc, gold and silver in their shelves.

“Among the minerals found on the seafloor in the study area, magnesium, niobium, cobalt and rare earth metals are on the European Commission’s Important Minerals List,” NPD said in its statement.

Problematic bottom drilling

Reuters reports that Norway is still debating whether to allow underwater mining to be shelved. Parliament has to approve it, for now Title Environmental and climate activists are fighting back. The country’s relationship with mining issues is complex. On the other hand, Norwegians earn from exporting fossil fuels, Crude oil Natural gas is the source of their wealth. On the other hand, nature and climate protection are close to them.

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As shown Reuters Environmental organizations have called for a postponement of active exploration and extraction of minerals from the sea floor, and have indicated the need for more research into the impact of these activities on marine life.

“To confirm whether the mineral resources are minable and can be mined with an acceptable environmental impact, further seabed exploration and technological development related to mining methods will be required,” the Norwegian agency noted in a statement. Ie: looks good so far, but there’s still a long way to go from estimates to extraction.

Sweden has also discovered rare earth minerals

Just two weeks ago about the discovery of a huge deposit of rare earth minerals, the largest in Europe You mentioned Sweden. Valuable raw materials – more than a million tons of them – were found in the north of the country, near Kiruna, a city known for having very large deposits of iron ore. Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB bragged about this – and emphasized that the discovery could be crucial to Europe’s green transition.

It looks nice, but it’s not that simple. Unfortunately, mining rare earth minerals is problematic for two reasons. First, it is difficult, plus it can be very harmful to the environment. A few days ago, a journalist from the Financial Times Richard Milne in his opinion Posted on the journal’s website, it stressed that there were “reasons for doubt” about the size of the Swedish find. “There are questions about how long the development process might take [wydobycia – red.]What is the size of the sediment, the impact on the local environment, and how realistic it is that Europe will wean ourselves from Chinese supplies. The existence of the Per Geijer deposit, which the Swedish company, in fact, has known for decades, and the company itself in the announcement gave very few details for geologists to assess the quality of the find, says Per Calvig, an expert in rare earth minerals, citing Milne.

The European Union imports almost all used rare earth minerals (98 percent – according to 2021 data) from China.

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Big companies invest in mining. Without rare earth minerals, their business could not exist

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