Vision of the mining industry: Underpinned by research and innovations, the mining industry will develop. The exploitation of sea sand and other minerals in the marine area will take place in keeping with the objective of a good status of the marine environment.

The planning cards contain an area designated for the extractive industry, but no activities of this nature are foreseen during the current planning period. Consequently, the plan does not direct the extraction of aggregates by identifying potential areas. 

In the past, some sea sand extraction projects have been carried out in Finland. These activities have been small in scale and mainly related to individual infrastructure projects, such as the construction of Vuosaari Harbour, but they can be expected to expand in the future as gravel and sand resources on land become depleted. The locations of underwater sand and gravel deposits in the territorial waters are well knownn[1]  in Finland. The usefulness of these underwater deposits in each area depends on the quality of the sand needed by the construction industry and, above all, on the location of the construction projects in terms of logistics. This is why planning such activities in the Maritime Spatial Plan is challenging. No extraction of minerals referred to in the Mining Act from the seabed has been carried out in Finland. Even in the international context, the use of this method is rare, and assessing the economic viability of exploiting the deposits as part of maritime spatial planning would be extremely difficult.

Identifying significant underwater ecological, cultural or tourism and recreational values supports the sustainable coordination of mining activities with other interests.


[1] Suomen merialueiden merihiekka- ja mineraalivarantojen hyödyntäminen – suosituksia kestävälle käytölle (Exploitation of sea sand and mineral reserves in Finnish sea areas – recommendations for sustainable use). Ministry of the Environment 19 June 2019