Dumping of mining waste in the Repparfjorden

The government today accepted that 2 million tonnes of mining sludge can be dumped in the Repparfjorden every year, for the next 20 years.

The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) views with disbelief the government's decision to allow Nussir to be allowed to start up copper mining in Kvalsund Municipality. The mining sludge will be dumped directly into the national salmon fjord Repparfjorden during the mining operation.

To put this in perspective, the dumping of 2 million tonnes of mining waste into the fjord each year is equivalent to 17 truckloads of rock, gravel and fine-grained copper-containing dust being dumped into the fjord every single hour for the next 20 years.

The mine sludge contains heavy metals such as copper, nickel and chromium which are considered very toxic to life in the fjord. The mine sludge will directly kill all life in the benthic fauna in the landfill area, but the fine-grained masses containing heavy metals will also be able to spread to the rest of the fjord, and slowly but surely kill most of the life in the fjord. In addition to being a protected national salmon fjord, the fjord is also a spawning area for cod.

NMF believes that the Norwegian government is once again showing its true face, where money always fronts the environment and biodiversity. Norway, as a (previously) world-renowned nature nation, has within a few years become an environmental disaster on a par with countries we do not like to compare ourselves to at all. NMF believes that such environmentally destructive decisions as this are simply a shame for the country.

NMF can add that at a meeting in Hawaii under the auspices of the World Conservation Union in 2016, 53 countries voted against allowing mining waste from mining to be dumped into the sea. Only Norway and Turkey voted to allow dumping of mine waste into the sea. Again proof that Norway is about to join the ranks of nations we previously criticized most strongly for their environmental policies.

Newspaper article: Opens for mining in Kvalsund

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