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Chatham submits NZ’s first Marine Consent

Chatham submits NZ’s first Marine Consent
– culminating 3 years work, $20 million investment

Chatham Rock Phosphate today submitted New Zealand’s first Marine Consent application under the new EEZ regime to the Environmental Protection Authority. It is the culmination of three years work and more than $20 million in investment.

Submitting the application comes in the final week of Chatham’s current capital raising for $4-10 million in its first public investment offering in New Zealand. Chatham has raised $21.5 million for the project over the past two years from its existing shareholders and through private placements to qualified investors.

The EPA, New Zealand’s environmental regulator, is expected to decide on CRP’s application after a full public process, in January 2014.

“This application is for a project of national significance offering fertiliser security for New Zealand’s primary industry, significant export potential and import substitution, as well as environmental benefits,’ Chief Executive Chris Castle said.

“We have done our homework and know this project stacks up technically, environmentally and financially,” Mr Castle said.

“The application has been developed by a team of experts who have delivered scientific rigour. It has also incorporated input from a wide range of stakeholders who have challenged our thinking and made valuable contributions to the completed document.”

The Environmental Impact Assessment forming the centrepiece of Chatham’s Marine Consent application will be considered under the new Exclusive Economic Zone environmental consenting regime, which came into force on 28 June as part of the EEZ and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) legislation.

“We believe we have prepared all of the information the EPA needs, under the terms of the EEZ Act.

“We also feel confident any stakeholders who may have concerns will see the EIA comprehensively addresses all environmental issues.”

The main document runs to more than 330 pages and there are about 30 appendices including a large number of scientific reports and models. The team has summarised the key findings to assist potential submitters work through the documentation.

The information in the EIA will be publicly available on the EPA website, and via a link on rockphosphate.co.nz, once the EPA has accepted the application as complete. People are then able to consider the documentation and make submissions and attend public hearings during the next six months.

Chatham expects the first of its required consents – approval of a Mining Licence under the Crown Minerals Act – within the next several weeks.

ENDS

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