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

 


Ocean ironsands mining decision due Wednesday

Ocean ironsands mining decision due Wednesday

By Pattrick Smellie

June 16 (BusinessDesk) - The fate of a $70 million bid to mine ironsands off the ocean floor in the southern Taranaki Bight will be known this Wednesday when a decision-making committee appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority rules on TransTasman Resources' marine consent application, the first sought under new regulation governing commercial activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Backed by Australian, American and New Zealand investors, TTR intends to raise as much as US$550 million in debt and equity to fund the project, which would vacuum up iron-rich seafloor sands, extracting the desired titano-magnetite for export to Asian steel mills by dedicated ship, with 90 percent of the sand being returned to the ocean floor.The operation would be outside the 12 mile nautical limit, where the Resource Management Act applies, and in the EEZ, New Zealand's vast ocean territory out to 200 kilometres from land. The EEZ is regulated by the EPA, which is also responsible for fast-track boards of inquiry on nationally significant projects.

The decision-making committee held hearings around the North Island between March and May under the fast-track arrangements that require a decision on EEZ consent applications within nine months of application.

There will be 15 days for appeals to be lodged after the decision is published on Wednesday.

The announcement will be closely watched by Chatham Rock Phosphate, the second applicant for an EEZ ocean mining consent. CRP plans to mine phosphate nodules on the Chatham Rise, some 450 kilometres east of Christchurch. Its application is currently open for public submissions.

TTR says its activity would add some $240 million of activity to the Taranaki economy annually and increase annual exports by $147 million, while creating some 250 jobs directly, paying around $50 million a year in mining royalties and tax.

Kiwis Against Sand Mining (KASM) led opposition to the initiative, claiming there was too much scientific uncertainty about environmental impacts of the proposal, as well potential impacts on surf breaks and other coastal formations.

TTR argues the ironsands are mainly inhabited by sandworms, which typically re-establish themselves after disturbance over a period of years.

The company told BusinessDesk in November that it faced a mid-2014 timetable to raise up to US$550 million to fund the capital elements of the project, around US$150 million was likely to be raised as fresh equity, and the remainder as debt.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news