Russia worried about Norway’s decision to dump mining waste into Arctic fjord

Minister of Natural Resources and ecology of Russia, Mr Dmitry Kobylkin, has raised the question at Tuesday’s meeting with Norway’s Environmental Minister Mr Ola Elvestuen. The two met in Moscow for the mixed Russian-Norwegian Commission of Environmental Cooperation. I explained that a sea repository will not have consequences for Russia, says Environmental Minister Ola Elvestuen to the Barents Observer on phone from Moscow. It was last week, the Norwegian Government approved mining of copper at Repparfjord in Finnmark including a permission to dump tailings from the mine to the sea floor of the fjord.

Mr Elvestuen said that the waste will stay at the repository area under water and will not spread to the the marine environment in the Barents Sea and therefor can’t have negative impact for the Russian side.

Repparfjord is in Kvalsund, an hour drive from Hammerfest. Norway and Russia share the valuable stock of cod and other spices in the Barents Sea.

In Northern Norway, the Sami Parliament says the decision to open the mine overrides Sami interests, both in regards to fishing in the fjord and for reindeer herding in the area of exploration.

President of the Sami Parliament, Aili Keskitalo, told the Barents Observer, we are very critical to sea deposits because the ocean, fisheries and sea food industry is so important for all of us living up north.