Extractive sector

Vision 2030

The development of the extractive sector is based on research and innovation. The exploitation of marine sand and other minerals in the marine area is in line with the good status of the maritime environment goal.

The graph illustrates the main operations of the sector in the different zones of the marine area today and in 2030 

Before After


Marine sand and gravel extraction

As yet, marine sand and gravel extraction in Finnish marine areas has been minor, and it has been used mainly in large individual coastal projects (e.g. Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki) in which the extraction area has been close to the project or the processing area (B43).

In recent decades, sand and gravel material deposits have been examined quite thoroughly in the Finnish territorial waters. The reserves in the Exclusive Economic Zone are not well-known. (B43)

Iron-manganese deposits

There is interest in the economic exploitation of iron-manganese deposits, but there is little information available about the impacts of their use. Their exploitation also requires the development of technological solutions, as well as further studies on the impacts of operations, for example. (B43)

Iron-manganese deposits are found almost everywhere in Finland’s marine areas. They have a high content of iron and manganese, as well as phosphorus, arsenic, titanium, magnesium and rare earth elements. The significance of the deposits for the marine ecosystem is not well-known. (B43)

Exploitation of phosphorus

The exploitation of phosphorus stored in benthic sediments has been studied to some extent. Its exploitation requires the development of technological solutions and a better understanding of the impacts. (B43)

Effective logistics chains and the accessibility of loading, further processing and storage areas are important in terms of operations in the sector. With the availability of gravel and sand reserves decreasing in the vicinity of growth centres, the need to make use of seabed reserves is growing (B43).

Underwater sand and gravel areas are often important for biodiversity. The use of extractive products changes seabed conditions and ecosystems, which is why sufficient studies and impact assessments are needed. Consideration of underwater cultural heritage also creates preconditions for operations. The manageability of environmental impacts is adversely affected by water flows in marine areas, for example.



Minerals and sand continue to be extracted primarily on land, but preparations have also been made in anticipation of a growing need for extractive operations in the sea.

– Reserves in land areas will primarily be exploited, as their adverse impacts are easier to control.

– Over the longer term, preparations will be made in anticipation of a worsening shortage of soil and an increase in the use of sea minerals

– Preparations will be made for possible seabed excavation in terms of infrastructure

The state of the ecosystem has been taken into account in the development of the sector

– Marine area reserves will not be exploited unless the operations generally improve the state of the marine environment. As yet, there is too little research-based information about the overall impact (e.g. of phosphorus removal)

– The impacts of excavation on the environment are always taken into account when planning operations. The extraction of rock material destroys the marine environment locally, and its recovery takes a long time.

Synergies with wind energy areas have been utilised

– Synergies between the extractive sector and the offshore wind industry are utilised. Opportunities to extract rock material and sand near offshore wind projects will be examined.

The situation picture of the extractive sector is up to date

– Research and investigation work related to demand for and the availability of raw materials will be maintained.

– Research will be developed and supported, and implementation will not be started before results are available (e.g. studies on iron-manganese concentrations and phosphorus removal)

– Priority will be given to further research on interesting sites (Uusimaa and North Ostrobothnia are the most studied areas, and studies have also been carried out in Kymenlaakso and Satakunta)

Background information

Synergies and conflicts

View the Synergies and conflicts table for all industries.

Ecosystem services

The extractive sector uses products and services provided by the marine ecosystem – that is, various materials and geological formations.


– Research on sea minerals and extractive products and studies on deposits are increasing. Knowledge is increasing of the impacts of extraction operations on the marine environment, for example, and the significance of minerals for ecosystems in the marine environment.

– The need for minerals for growth centres near the coast is likely to increase in future.

– Interest in seabed deposits and the rare elements contained in them may grow with the increasing needs of the battery industry, for example. 

– Improved knowledge and technological development make it possible to access reserves according to need, using more sustainable methods.

– However, mineral extraction will continue to focus on the mainland, which makes it easier to manage adverse impacts and risks, and marine excavation products will not be used considerably more than today. Marine excavation products will mainly remain as potential reserves.