The Norwegian Government has issued a Mineral Strategy which necessitates the Geological Survey of Norway to produce an inventory aligned with the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC).
UNFC will be crucial in this strategy as it will be used to classify mineral resources in Norway and establish a common, internationally accepted language for mineral and energy resources. This allows for coherent communication and comprehension of resources across different geographies and sectors, fostering sustainable development and efficient resource management.
“UNFC provides a good basis for being able to practice sustainable resource management”, noted Randi S. Grini, Director of the Directorate of Mining with Commissioner of Mines at Svalbard. “UNFC will be even more important for us, now that DMF is appointed as Norway’s “national competent authority” for coordinating critical and strategic mineral projects (One Stop Shop) within the scope of the proposed Materials Act.” A common language, used already for the geological mapping, will make it easier to combine this knowledge with DMF’s valuations of deposits, projects, and other societal considerations.
UN experts see UNFC as an important approach to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the perspective of sustainable resource management. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase recycling rates, and foster sustainable practices across the entire value chain, from extraction and processing to recycling and waste management.
UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova commented: “Norway’s groundbreaking Mineral Strategy highlights the nation's commitment to sustainable resource management. Implementing UNFC for inventory management stands as a positive example for other countries to follow. It reflects Norway's vision to harness sustainable resources effectively and responsibly, taking significant strides towards the decarbonization of our region.”
The UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM) will continue to support policymakers and stakeholders to focus on sustainable resource management, providing supplementary guidance, frameworks, and training globally. EGRM will work closely with the Norwegian Directorate of Mining who are now designated as the central authority for resource management of onshore minerals.
This announcement underscores the growing international recognition of the vital role of UNFC in achieving sustainable resource management, climate goals, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with UNFC included in the draft EU Critical Raw Materials Act as well as legislated in Queensland, Australia.
UNFC is an international scheme for the classification, management, and reporting of energy, mineral/raw material resources. It can be applied to all raw material projects: primary raw materials (e.g., mining) and secondary (e.g., recycled materials), allowing for comparisons across resources and countries.