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Showcase Event For Minerals Sector Cancelled Due To Safety Concerns

Straterra, New Zealand’s minerals sector industry organisation, is disappointed to announce that the 2020 New Zealand Minerals Forum, the showcase event for the sector, is cancelled.

The event, like most things in 2020, has been under a cloud all year – Covid-19 and all the associated social and economic disruption and uncertainty, election year, date changes and now concern about the safety of delegates and protestors.

The Forum is an annual event. This year it was to take place at Claudelands in Hamilton on 13-14 October.

The event addresses technical, commercial, environmental, regulatory and social issues and brings together scientists, managers, geologists, investors, exploration professionals, resource management and conservation specialists, health and safety professionals, government officials, politicians across the spectrum, iwi and sometimes even NGOs.

“When we look at the protest messages, they are ironic, and hypocritical. Every New Zealander benefits from the products of mining – be it infrastructure, food production, export revenue, phones or wind mills – and these protestors want to stop mining? Or, it’s ok if we mine in Africa or ... anywhere, but not New Zealand,” said Chris Baker, CEO of Straterra.

“In earlier media coverage the protestors labelled us ‘economic degenerates.’ Is that the profit motive they are referring to? If so, that declares an ideology shared by very few New Zealanders I would suggest.

“Post Covid-19, here in New Zealand and globally, demand for resources will increase. Governments are investing in infrastructure, new lower emissions technologies are being, and must be developed and standards of living are increasing – this is the goal and the future, not the alarmism promulgated by these protesters.

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“Now more than ever we need to encourage investment. The cancellation of the Forum is a disappointment but will have little impact on the legitimate and highly encouraging investment and development of resource activity in New Zealand. Gold prices are near an all-time high and New Zealand has world class gold resources and potential, demand for iron and coking coal from the global steel sector is strong. This is good for our sector and good for New Zealand.

“The fact that there is such a large gap between these activists and mainstream society underpins the need for better, evidence- based dialogue. We are up for that conversation. And we hope they are too,” Mr Baker concluded.

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