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Environmental scandal: Plan dumping of 30 million tonnes of mining waste in Repparfjord

While the rest of the world has discontinued dumping of mining waste in the sea, Norway is one of five ashore on the planet that continues to do so.


Before Christmas, the government will decide on what could be one of the biggest environmental scandals in Norway in recent times. In Kvalsund municipality in Finnmark, the company plans Nussir ASA to start a copper mine that is planned to dump 30 million tonnes of toxic mine sludge in Repparfjord. The mine will also make major interventions in an important area for reindeer husbandry, which is already strongly under pressure from the development of roads, cab fields and power lines. Sami Parliament and the Sami youth organization Noereh has been strongly committed to the mine as it threatens the environment and the foundation of Sami culture and traditional industries such as fishing and reindeer husbandry. The government can still avoid a major environmental and indigenous conflict, but then they must reject the mining plans for Repparfjord.

Salmon and cod are the trough

The Institute of Marine Research warns that mining dumps will cause major damage to life in the fjord. Repparfjord is a national salmon fjord, and beyond an important spawning area for the coastal cod. When it was mining in Kvalsund for a couple of years in the 70 century, it was also dumping mining mud in the fjord. Then the cod stopped spawning here, and the salmon smelt was hard to beat.

In 2018, no future-oriented business can rely on its waste in nature.

In the rest of the world, one has run the vast majority of mining projects that dump sludge into the sea. Today, Norway is one of only five countries that have been dumping right into the sea, and the only one that is planning new: at Repparfjord in Finnmark and Førdefjorden in Sogn og Fjordane. According to a report by the Swedish Nature Conservation Association in 2016, it is only Chile, Turkey, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia that, in addition to Norway, succeeded in dumping mining waste in the wild.

Before Christmas, the government will decide whether Nussir will receive an operating license – a license to start and operate mining. The election will show how green the government is, and whether it takes the loss of natural diversity and indigenous peoples seriously.

A little forward-looking business

Prime Minister Erna Solberg often talks about taking care of the sea, and the government has made the fight against plastic waste one of its most important environmental issues. Now they also have to fight the other waste that troughs the sea. It is paradoxical whether Norway will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on clearing the sea of ​​plastic and at the same time allow new mining projects to fill our fjords with mine sludge.

In 2018, no future-oriented business can rely on its waste in nature. Nussir's mining project is perhaps one of the foremost examples of how old-fashioned it can be. The right choice for the government is revealed: Reject the operating license and save Repparfjord!

Read more: Nature Conservation Association: Allows mine dumping in salmon fjord (14.2.19) og Facts about Nussir's copper mining operations



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