Media releases & Case studies

Back to nature: the Bluegard® olivine solution

After more than eighty years of bombshells and bullets, the 165 sq km of land that makes up Hjerkinn Military Range in the mountains of Oppland, Norway, was suffering the effects of significant ground contamination. So when the Norwegian Parliament decided to close down the range and convert the area into a nature conservation area, the restoration project team were faced with a major challenge.

For the past four years, Sibelco’s Nordic team have been collaborating with the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency (NDEA) in researching and developing the use of our Blueguard® series of olivine-based products to help clean up the contaminated land at Hjerkinn. The worked has focused on olivine’s natural ability to neutralise acid and to absorb heavy metal pollutants.

This partnership approach recently resulted in Sibelco being awarded a major two–year contract to supply three types of product from our Blueguard range: Olivine Blueguard 63 to be used for permanent landfill for contaminated soil; Olivine G1-3 as a filter material that cleans heavy metals from contaminated water; Bentonite from Finland, also for use at the landfills.

And this is a big clean-up operation – so far at Hjerkinn, the NDEA has discovered:

  • 12,208 duds
  • 341 tons of metal waste
  • 365 m3 of wood waste
  • 85.5 m3 of garbage

The restoration work is expected to finish in 2020 and represents a unique project for Norway’s defence and conservation sectors, attracting international attention. The project will strengthen the rich and vulnerable animal and plant life in the area, including increased protection for one of Northern Europe’s largest ecosystems of reindeer.

For more information, see our Olivine product page.