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

 


Rejection for ocean floor ironsands mining bid

Rejection for ocean floor ironsands mining bid

By Pattrick Smellie

June 18 (BusinessDesk) - Investment in resource extraction from New Zealand's vast Exclusive Economic Zone has taken a major knock today, with a decision-making committee of the Environmental Protection Authority rejecting an application from TransTasman Resources to mine ironsands off the seabed some 22 to 36 kilometres off the coast of Patea.

TTR issued a statement disclosing the rejection ahead of detail from the EPA, saying it was "extremely disappointed with the decision."

The company spent some $60 million over seven years developing the project, which it believed could be achieved in an environmentally sustainable way and create additional exports of around $150 million a year from the export of around five million tonnes annually of titano-magnetite iron ore to Asian steelmills, using a suction dredging process that would have returned 90 percent of the sands to the ocean floor.

"We have put a significant amount of time and effort into developing this project including consulting with iwi and local communities and undertaking detailed scientific research to assess environmental impacts of the project,” said TTR’s chief executive, Tim Crossley. “Our objective has been to develop an iron sands extraction project which achieves substantial economic development while protecting the environment.

“We will be carefully analysing the decision over the next few days and will take our time to consider what this means for the South Taranaki Bight project and for the company."

TTR has 15 days to lodge an appeal, but the next step in the company's plans was to raise as much as US$550 million in new debt and equity to fund the project, and had been working to a tight mid-year timetable to achieve that goal.

“The bottom line is our New Zealand staff and consultants now have a very uncertain future and the local community will not benefit from hundreds of new jobs and an estimated $240 million dollars increase in GDP, annually," said Crossley.

The result is a victory for Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM), which mobilised large numbers of opposing submissions to the project ahead of hearings that lasted two months between March and May.

However, it is a blow to the government's desire to see mineral extraction projects become a larger part of the New Zealand economy and follows a major legislative and regulation-making programme to create a regime to manage the environmental impacts of activity in the EEZ under a fast-track regime administered by the EPA.

The second application under the new regime, from Chatham Rock Phosphate, which plans to mine phosphate nodules on the Chatham Rise some 450 kilometres east of Christchurch, is currently open for public submissions.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Trade Agreements: TPP Minus US Starting To Gain Ground

The Japanese government is picking up the pace on reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment deal, with talks scheduled next month among the 11 countries left in the pact after the withdrawal by the US after the election of president Donald Trump. More>>

ALSO:

PACER:

Prices Up 2.2%: Annual Inflation Highest In Over Five Years

"Rising petrol prices along with the annual rise in cigarette and tobacco tax lifted inflation," prices senior manager Jason Attewell said. "Petrol prices in New Zealand are closely linked to global oil prices, and cigarettes and tobacco taxes rise in the March quarter each year". More>>

ALSO:

Undertaxed? NZ Income Tax Rate Second Lowest Among Developed Nations

New Zealand workers pay the second smallest portion of their income to the government among developed nations and less than half the average ratio of their Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development peers. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Cook: Round Up Of This Week’s Weather

One of the significant impacts this week was flooding due to excessive rainfall amounts. Rainfall amounts topped out at 350mm over the past 60 hours in parts of northwest Nelson, with 200mm+ measurements recorded about Coromandel Peninsula, and between 150-200mm in the Kaimai Ranges. Rainfall amounts of between 30-50mm were commonplace elsewhere. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier: Batten Down The Hatches For Cyclone Cook

Although fast-moving, Cyclone Cook will be destructive and MetService Expert Meteorologists have issued Severe Wind Warnings for the whole of the North Island apart from Northland... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news