When Monika Øksnes – now Norge Mining’s Chief Operating Officer, but then Camp Manager – was living at our exploration site last summer, she heard a knock on the door at 8am one morning. It was Gro Helleland, a teacher from Heskestad School. She wanted to ask if she could bring some of her fourth graders (ages eight and nine) along one day to see the core shed, as they were learning about rocks. And, following a recent change in the Norwegian education system to include more practical outdoor learning and sustainability topics, it seemed like the perfect fit.
When the school children visited our core shed that’s located nearby Heskestad village in Rogaland county in southern Norway, they were interested in the geology,” says Monika Øksnes. “They brought along their own rocks to be analysed by our experts, which was fun. They were excited when the geologists showed them that some of the rocks were magnetic. We also educated them on things like: what our investigations are exploring (namely, vanadium, phosphate and titanium), how a core shed works and why the core looks a certain way.”
Out on the rig
Since then, Norge Mining has had more students visit the site of varying ages – with six more school tours and counting. As well as tours of the core shed, they’ve also taken eager-to-learn pupils to the rig.
With investigations into EU Critical Raw Materials in southern Norway gaining momentum, this could be a viable and exciting new industry in the country in the future,” adds Monika. “If so, we’ll need plenty of budding new geologists and geo-scientists coming up through the ranks – and yet, there’s a decline here in people studying geology. I did my BA and MA degree at Bergen University (UiB) in the subject, but it never crossed my mind that mining was relevant to me – especially in Norway. There are coal mines in Svalbard in the north, but coal is understandably being phased out. Then there are oil fields, but some politicians want to stop looking at oil fields entirely. Green mining carries an important message – and potentially important opportunities for the next generation here.”
And you can read about how Norge Mining is not only educating students, but also training geologists on site here.
46 exploration licences
As a reminder, Norge Mining currently owns 46 exploration licences, totalling more than 400 square kilometres in southwest Norway, in an area known to contain vanadium, titanium, phosphate and gold. This builds on earlier studies by the Norway Geological Survey (NGU). Our first Mineral Resource Estimates from the Bjerkreim Exploration Project have confirmed world-class deposits of the EU Critical Raw Materials. Now our ambition is to become a substantial, sustainable and strategically important exploration and mining business in the country.
With that in mind, politicians have understandably come to see Norge Mining’s explorations in Rogaland county for themselves. Members of The Progress Party, The Christian Democrats (KrF), The Norwegian Labour Party, The Conservative Party of Norway, The Center Party and the Liberal Party (the Minister of Trade and Industry) have all visited the site, keen to find out more.