Norway is a constitutional monarchy offering political stability and national and regional government that support minerals exploration and development. On the back of a long mining history, the revised Minerals Act (2009) and Strategy for the Minerals Industry (2013) are indicative that the minerals industry is considered a key policy area in future. Onshore minerals are emerging from the shadow of the offshore hydrocarbon industry that has transformed Norway into one of the most affluent countries in the world, reflected in its huge sovereign wealth fund. Norway also offers excellent infrastructure and international transport, and a highly skilled workforce.
The simple exploration licensing process awards a 7-year term of tenure. The initial licence fee of NOK 1,000 per maximum 10 km2 area, regardless of the number of adjoining or separate areas applied for. The annual licence fee steps up to NOK 10, 30 and 50 per hectare from years 2, 4 and 6. Extraction licences are awarded on successful application for 10 years, and are extendable. There are no government royalties on exploitation, but a 0.5% royalty to the landowner.