“God Knew What He Was Doing When He Made Norway”, Industry Minister of Norway on Expanding Mining on Reindeer Pastures

October 6, 2010 • Philip BurgessBlog

Indistry Minister of Norway Trond Giske With Minerals Map of Northern Scandinavia. His governement has just announced a huge increase in funding to support the mining industry - Source adressa.no

So said, the Minister for Industry of Norway (Labour Party) while announcing a big increase in funding for mining exploration in the country in a story that appeared in Adressa.no

The Norwegian Geological Survey (NGU) believes there is a vast wealth of minerals and ore under the soil just waiting to be exploiting – only what holds them back is insufficient knowledge. That will soon change thanks to the Norwegian government announcing an extra 100 million NOK (ca. 17M USD)) over four years to searching for gold and other precious metals, mainly in northern Norway.

The first 25 million (4.3M USD) will come in next year’s budget, which is presented on Tuesday. This will represent a doubling of the Geological Survey currently receive for such work.

Giske acknowledged that as most of the deposits are in Northern Norway, this may lead to conflict with reindeer herders, but insisted that any conflict between reindeer herding and mining was “fully manageable”

Not according to Nils Henrik Sara, the leader of the Sami Reindeer Herders Association of Norway(NRL), in a reaction in NRK Sami Radio,

“It’s not as simple as the industry minister told Adresseavisen.  But of course for their enforcement system, it might be “manageable” because they do not account for what the reindeer industry says, and thus it is easy for them to get the reindeer industry to follow their terms “

The NRL leader clearly stated that their organization is against all mining in areas used by reindeer husbandry.

“NRL is against all who have an intention to destroy the industry’s reindeer pastures.  Mining destroys grazing for reindeer, and it can not be accepted by NRL”

“Let the treasure hunt begin” the Minister was quoted as saying in the news report…