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

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news