Despite protests from the Sami Parliament and several environmental organizations, Norway’s government ministry in charge of climate and environmental issues has allowed a mining company in Northern Norway to operate and dump tailings into a local fjord.
Nussir ASA thus won a green light to mine copper at Nussir and Ulveryggen in Kvalsund, Finnmark County. Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen claimed the mining operation had been “thoroughly evaluated” and that “quite strict demands” had been placed on the company, so that it was “environmentally defensible” to allow the operation that also may create 150 news jobs in the area.
The Sami Parliament had objected on the grounds the mining would interfere with reindeer herding in the area, contaminate local fishing grounds and harm Sami culture. Environmental groups had protested as well, claiming the dumping of mine tailings would pollute local waters known to be rich in salmon stocks.
The government, however, wants to help develop mining operations. “The planned mine in Nussir and Ulveryggen is one of the largest mineral projects in Norway and will generate new jobs with positive ripple effects in the community and the region,” said Jan Tore Sanner, the government minister in charge of local governments.