Nordic Mining plans to dump millions of tonnes of mining waste in the pristine Førdefjorden in Norway. Young activists from Natur og Ungdom / Young Friends of the Earth Norway resist to preserve the fjord and its ecosystem. Help them by signing the petition.
In 2015, as part of their Engebø garnet and rutile mine project, Nordic Mining was granted permission to deposit a total of 250 million tonnes of mining waste in the Førdefjord. In 2020, the company received an operating license. The following year, it was granted permission to release Sodium Isobutyl Xanthate (SIBX) into the fjord, a substance that is very toxic to aquatic organisms. Now Kronos Worldwide Inc, a titandioxid (TiO2) producer, is about to buy rutile from the Engebø mine. By doing so, the company supports this environmentally harmful project.
Natur og Ungdom, together with 13 other organisations, have submitted complaints challenging the operating permit for Nordic Mining’s project. While mining operations cannot start until the complaint is resolved, the company was granted permission in February to start construction of the processing plant.
In the meantime, as Nordic Mining got ready to start the construction, young environmentalists stepped up their efforts to prevent dumping of mine waste in pristine Norwegian fjords and initiated civil disobedience. Activists from Naturvernforbundet / Friends of the Earth Norway, Natur og Ungdom / Young Friends of the Earth Norway, and other environmental organisations set up camp on the shores of the Førdefjord in order to stop Nordic Mining’s Engebø garnet and rutile mine. Read more about it.
A pristine ecosystem in danger
Førdefjord is a designated National Wild Salmon Fjord, critical for the protection of wild salmon. It is also an important seafood fjord for Norway and abroad, and one of the few remaining fjords in Western Norway with an intact and fully functioning ecosystem.
The method that Nordic Mining plans on using to get rid of the tailings produced by the extraction of rutile is called “submarine tailing disposal” method. It consists in dumping the mining waste at the bottom of water bodies, which will endanger the fjord’s ecosystem. Norway is one of very few countries in the world that still allows such a practice.
Opposition to the project builds from everywhere. The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, affiliated with the Norwegian Government, has advised against dumping mining waste in the Førdefjord. Protests from the fishing, seafood and tourism industries, as well as environmental organisations have also been strong and united.
Will the Norwegian government now listen?
Cover photo by (c) Wim Lassche