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Platinum permits awarded in South Island

Hon Simon Bridges
Minister of Energy and Resources

24 July 2014

Platinum permits awarded in South Island

Five exploration permits have been awarded in the South Island to a new international minerals exploration company as a result of the New Zealand Platinum Tender 2013.

Canadian-backed company Lynx Platinum Limited has been awarded three exploration permits covering 355km² near Murchison and two exploration permits covering 168km² north of Invercargill.

“These permits present an exciting opportunity for the Tasman and Southland regions, and constitute the most significant new minerals exploration activity in New Zealand by one company in several years,” says Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges.

“It is encouraging to see a new minerals operator enter the New Zealand market, especially when the international price of metallic mineral commodities is low and investors are understandably selective about where in the world they put their money.

“It is a credit to the sector and to this Government’s approach – we treat the mining industry as a valuable part of the economy and will continue to work to raise the profile of the sector.

“The minerals sector already contributes over $1 billion to the economy in GDP.

“Lynx will spend around $3 million over the first three years, and this could rise to $7.5 million within five years if the initial work is successful.

“If an economic discovery is made, there could be significant benefits on both a regional and national level. We can’t afford to ignore the opportunity to make the most of untapped resources potential in a safe and environmentally responsible way,” Mr Bridges says.

The tender process included a rigorous assessment of the company’s financial and technical capability, including a high-level assessment of their ability to meet New Zealand’s world-class health and safety, and environmental requirements.

For more information and maps of the awarded permits go to:
http://www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms/minerals/competitive-tender/2013/platinum-2013

Lynx Platinum Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coronado Resources Limited, a Canadian exploration and development, power generation and retailing company. TAG Oil Limited, an established Canadian petroleum operator which has wells in Taranaki and on the North Island’s East Coast, has a 49 per cent shareholding in Coronado.

Platinum is considered around the world as a strategic metal because of its application in automotive, agriculture, electronic, dental, medical, and aerospace industries. Platinum is also used in environmentally-related technologies such as fuel cells and solar technologies.

The Platinum New Zealand 2013 Minerals Tender process began in March last year with consultation with iwi, the Department of Conservation (DoC) and local authorities, and the competitive tender closed in April.

An exploration permit gives the permit holder the exclusive right to explore the metallic minerals over the area specified in the permit only, for a period of five years. It does not give them automatic access to the land – this must be negotiated with the landholder.

In the case of conservation land, operators must meet criteria set out by DoC in regards to access arrangements and mitigating environmental impact. The operator must also satisfy any local council requirements under the Resource Management Act.

If they can’t meet any of these hurdles, they will not be able to begin their work programme.

If an economic discovery is made at the exploration stage, the company must apply for a mining permit before production can commence.

ENDS

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