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TTR looks forward to robust EPA hearing process

TTR looks forward to robust EPA hearing process

Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) remains determined to secure the necessary approvals, which will allow it to establish the first offshore iron sands mining project in New Zealand.

“We look forward to participating in a rigorous public hearing process,” says TTR Executive Chairman, Tim Crossley. “We strongly believe that the local and national benefits of our project significantly outweigh any perceived negative environmental effects.”

TTR’s marine consent application is for a project area of 65.76 km2 in the exclusive economic zone approximately 22.4 to 36 km off the coast of Patea, in water depths of 20-45 metres. TTR proposes to extract up to 50 million tonnes of sediment per year and process the sediment aboard an integrated mining vessel. Around 5 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate will be exported per year. The remaining sediment will be re-deposited on the seafloor in a controlled manner, usually backfilling previous mined areas, which will be typically 5 metres deep.

The public hearing of the TTR marine consent application under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (EEZ Act) will commence in Wellington on 10 March 2014.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has delegated the decision-making responsibility for TTR’s marine consent application to a Decision-making Committee (DMC), and the DMC will manage the hearing process for the application. In considering whether to grant the marine consent, the decision-makers must consider the effects of the proposal on the environment and existing interests as well as the economic benefit of the project to New Zealand.

“We are confident that TTR has put forward the best available information and we believe the EEZ Act and the EPA processes provide a robust framework for assessing the effects and merits of our project.”

In advance of the hearing, TTR has reviewed the public submissions it received. In response to some of the issues raised, TTR has undertaken further investigations and provided additional evidence to the EPA on a wide range of issues including the extent and effect of the sediment plume and ecological effects, which were identified by submitters as key areas of concern.

“TTR remains committed to listening to and sharing information with our stakeholders. We are continuing to meet with key stakeholders and others with existing interests to understand their concerns with the aim of working through key points of difference and to develop appropriate consent conditions,” says Mr Crossley.

About TTR:

TTR is a private New Zealand company, established in 2007 to explore and develop the North Island’s offshore iron sand deposits. TTR is headquartered in Wellington and is funded by New Zealand and international investment. Since inception TTR has spent more than $50 million to understand the resource, engineering, marketing, studying the existing physical and ecological environment and identifying potential impacts to develop an iron sands extraction project which balances economic development while protecting the environment.

ENDS

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