Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Mining lobby seeks less regulatory confusion, freer hand

Mining lobby seeks less regulatory confusion, freer hand for explorers

By Pattrick Smellie

April 8 (BusinessDesk) – The mining industry lobbyist, Straterra, is calling for improved administration of New Zealand’s environmental and minerals regulations and wants the low-impact activities of mineral prospecting and exploration made automatically permissible.

However, Straterra is less convinced that major reforms to the Resource Management Act’s balance between environmental and economic influences will improve the lengthy and complex processes currently facing many mining projects to obtain resource consents.

In its 24 page report, released at Parliament this evening, the group calls for investment in aerial mapping of the whole of New Zealand to improve understanding of its geophysical properties and mineral potential.

The exercise could cost around $70 million and be undertaken over a five year period to spread the cost.

Straterra also calls for an overhaul of the way the Conservation Act manages access for miners to conservation land and replacement of the Historic Places Act with new legislation to deal better with “modifying archaeological sites and heritage.”

Mostly, it calls for what it says should be a better informed public debate on the role and benefits of mining, and an improvement in the way New Zealand’s mining regulations are administered.

“New Zealand scores the lowest among Australasian jurisdictions for administration of natural resources and rights to minerals exploration, despite scoring the highest for policy design.”

On the proposed changes to Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA, dealing with the principles in the Act, Straterra says the proposal “has positives but may be outweighed by the negatives.”

“We foresee litigation to interpret the new provisions, noting that the current provisions, while less than ideal, do have workable case law.”

Environment Minister Amy Adams is running out of time to find parliamentary support before the Sept. 20 general election to make the changes, which the government regards as a centrepiece of other, more widely supported reforms to streamline RMA processes.

The prolonged process for the Bathurst Resources open-cast coking coal mine on the Denniston Plateau “argues convincingly for heavily restricted, truncated or streamlined appeal processes,” Straterra says.

However, in a separate statement today, the Environmental Defence Society said the first application for seabed mining – for ironsands in the South Taranaki Bight – was throwing up major process issues.

“Of particular concern is the hearing being limited to 40 working days and the decision having to be released within 20 working days of the hearing being completed,” said EDS president Gary Taylor. “This leaves little time for expert conferencing or for ensuring that detailed matters (such as potential conditions) are well constructed.”

In its submission, Straterra expresses concern that “applicants may have to apply twice for approval to return sediment to the seafloor under ‘non-notified marine consents’ and standard ‘marine consents’.”

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

OceanaGold: Man Killed In Waihi Mine Accident

A 29-year-old man had died following a work place accident at OceanaGold mine, Waihi last night. The man was killed after the front end loader he was in rolled down a slope. The accident happened at approximately 6.30pm on Thursday night. More>>

ALSO:

Constructing Consent: Annual Housing Consents Highest In Over A Decade

More than 29,000 new homes gained building consent in the year to June 2016, up 16 percent from the previous June year, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

ALSO:

War Against Weevil For Future Peas: “No Peas, No Weevil” Ban Now In Place In Wairarapa

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today placed a ban on growing peas within a specified area and placed controls on moving pea material (seed and untreated pea straw) within, in and out of this area for the next 2 years. More>>

ALSO:

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news