(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s parliament approved commercial mineral exploration in the country’s Arctic waters even as the environmental and fishing lobbies pushed back against the move.

Lawmakers passed the measure on Tuesday, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate said in a website statement. A cross-party deal was reached last month for a gradual opening process.

Growing demand for new sources of the minerals essential for products from electric car batteries to solar panels has boosted global interest in deep sea mining in recent years. 

Among the resources available on the Norwegian continental shelf, so-called sulfide crusts may contain as much as 45 million metric tons of zinc, while manganese crusts may have some 3 million metric tons of cobalt, according to a white paper released by the government last June.

Read More: Norway to Open Parts of Arctic Seabed for Exploration and Mining

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