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

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news