Proposed Minerals Act (2022)

Last updated: 11 December 2023

In 2020, the Minerals Act Committee was appointed and tasked with the mandate of assessing changes to the Minerals Act in order to better facilitate value creation in the minerals industry. 
The Committee proposes to maintain the distinction between State-owned and landowner-owned minerals, while clarifying and harmonising permitting regulations for exploration and extraction. 
A number of provisions are proposed regarding the relationship of the mineral industry to Sámi rights. The Committee proposes to move away from the rules that apply specifically to Finnmark County. Explorations, pilot extractions and extractions taking place in traditional Sámi areas and which will lead to significant encroachment on Sámi rights of use, will either require an agreement with the rights holders or compulsory acquisition of the necessary rights. Compensation has been proposed for losses due to restrictions on use as a result of mineral activities in accordance with general rules for compensation for compulsory acquisition. A separate provision has been proposed to regulate that in connection with permits for mineral activities in traditional Sámi areas, emphasis shall be placed on the effect the decision will have on the natural basis for Sámi cultural practice. This should also be seen in connection with other implemented or planned measures in the area. Permits cannot be granted for operations that will have "significant negative effects" in this regard in the absence of a special agreement between the operating party and affected Siidas that is approved by the Sámi Parliament. Compensation for all mineral extraction in traditional Sámi areas will be paid to both the Sámi Parliament and affected Siidas. This is in addition to the existing rate of 0.25% for compensation payment to indigenous people for the extraction of minerals owned by the State.

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