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Government Should Promote New Zealand’s Excellent Mining Industry

The Government should promote New Zealand’s excellent mining industry, not scare off investors with anti-mining rhetoric, says Straterra CEO Josie Vidal.

Straterra spoke to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee at Parliament today in support of its submission on the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill.

"We don’t support this Bill or its anti-mining tone. But if it proceeds, we want to keep the word promote in the purpose," Vidal says.

"What’s in a word? A lot when it comes to the attractiveness of New Zealand to the investors we need for capital intense development, because we have a small population and not a lot of money.

"We want to promote and protect the mining industry in New Zealand that contributes socially, economically, and environmentally to the wellbeing of communities and the country as a whole.

"It is worth promoting because in New Zealand mining companies care about people and places. Not all jurisdictions where mining takes place can claim this.

"We have strict employment and health and safety laws and stringent environmental protection measures, which are good things when it comes to selling the provenance of our minerals globally.

"Demand for mined minerals continues to rise as the world looks to a low emissions future and we want New Zealand to have an active part as a source of critical minerals, albeit at a fairly small scale.

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"Demand is increasing for minerals used in batteries to power electric vehicles and in building wind turbines and solar panels for renewable energy, as well as minerals for all the items we use every day and rely on for food production, and to heat hospitals and schools. Infrastructure, including roads, housing and construction, all rely on mined minerals.

"Denying the value of mining and the contribution it will make to both building resilience to, and mitigating climate change is akin to denying climate change itself.

"To get the value of a mine, big dollars have to be poured in first and a lot of that money comes from investors overseas who are watching New Zealand closely.

"The most recent global survey from the respected Fraser Institute showed a marked decline in sentiment from mining industry investors when it came to both investment attractiveness and policy settings in New Zealand. That is concerning evidence.

"If, as owner of crown minerals, the Government wants to abdicate its responsibility to ensure those minerals are developed for the benefit of all New Zealanders, then it needs to be clear in that intent and offer other pathways for ownership and investment," Vidal says.

Straterra is the industry association representing New Zealand’s minerals and mining sector.

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