Seabed minerals


A section of a sulphide sample, obtained during the Norwegian Offshore Directorate's expedition to the Mohns Ridge in the Norwegian Sea in 2020. Photo: Øystein Leiknes Nag, Norwegian Offshore Directorate.

Seabed minerals consists of sulphides, manganese crusts and manganese nodules, formed at the seabed in the deep reaches of the ocean.

On the Norwegian continental shelf, we have sulphides and manganese crusts, containing metals and minerals that are crucial for the technology that surrounds us today – such as batteries, wind turbines, PCs and mobile phones.

The Act relating to mineral activities on the Norwegian continental shelf – the Seabed Minerals Act – entered into force on 1 July 2019.

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate has been tasked by the Ministry of Energy (MOE) to map the most commercially interesting mineral deposits on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Video: About seabed minerals

Metals in demand

The new industries come with increased needs for certain elements such aslithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese and certain rare earth minerals. One of the deposits for such elements occur in sediments on the seabed.

The analyses the Norwegian Offshore Directorate has conducted of sulphides so far show high contents of copper, zinc and cobalt. In addition rare earth elements have been found in samples from manganese crusts.

These are important metals in the effort to further electrify society, and they are in high demand in industry. The content of some of these metals is high compared with deposits from other places around the world.

Video: In search for seabed minerals


More about the photo of the sulphide sample above

The sulphide sample in the photo above consist of various minerals and contain metallic compounds that may be financially interesting. A mineral consists of chemical compounds of one or more different elements and occur naturally. Such elements can include various metals such as copper, zinc and cobalt.



Updated: 09/01/2024

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