Storebrand Asset Management ‘In Dialogue’ with Kongsberg About Loke Investment
Reuter’s recently reported that Storebrand Asset Management (Storebrand), a minor shareholder in Kongsberg, has been ‘in dialogue’ with Kongsberg regarding their 10% stake in the seabed minerals start-up Loke Marine Minerals (Loke).
Loke was founded in 2019, with Kongsberg, TechnipFMC, and Wilhelmsen established as investors and technology partners. The company currently holds two exploration licenses for the mining of polymetallic nodules (rich in rare earth metals) found on the seafloor in the Pacific Ocean. Both licenses were granted by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in March 2023.
Storebrand’s CEO Jan Erik Saugestad was keen to raise concerns surrounding the long-term benefits of such a venture to Kongsberg, which is reported to own a 10–15% stake in Loke, stating: “We do believe it’s not a wise long-term investment. It might prove to be, but we need much more insight to fully understand this business opportunity.”
Both Kongsberg and Loke have responded to Storebrand’s concerns, explaining their emphasis on a responsible, sustainable approach to deep-sea mining.
A spokesperson for Kongsberg said: “Kongsberg's motivation for being a part of Loke Minerals is that we have technology that can monitor and do surveillance on the seabed, to form a basis for decisions for sustainable harvesting of seabed minerals.”
Loke Marine Minerals CEO Walter Sognnes added: “Loke will seek to attract more investors to raise about $100 million needed to fund resource mapping, environmental studies and technology development.”
As of right now, Storebrand has no plans to divest their less than 1% stake in Kongsberg.