Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) has submitted a mining permit application under the Crown Minerals Act with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals to extract iron sands in the South Taranaki Bight off New Zealand’s North Island’s west coast.
The application covers an area of 65.76sqkm within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between 22km and 35km off the coast of Patea within TTR’s existing prospecting licence.
“This is an important milestone for TTR,” says TTR’s chief executive Tim Crossley. “But it is just the first step in the overall approvals process.”
The mining permit application will be assessed by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals for technical data on the proposed resource, geology, the proposed work program as well as TTR’s ability to manage the project, and health and safety.
TTR plans to lodge its application for environmental marine consents under the new EEZ legislation in October this year. TTR has, since 2009, undertaken a detailed baseline study program and modelling of potential environmental effects.
“Based on the environmental research conducted by NIWA and overseas experience, we have refined our extraction and processing methodology to minimize the potential environmental effects of our operations,” Tim Crossley says. “While the permit covers a relatively small area, the project should provide long-term employment and benefits to the local communities of South Taranaki and Whanganui.
“We are currently engaging with indigenous people and existing interests on our proposed project. The wider public will also have an opportunity to have their say on the project once we lodge our marine consents with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
Trans-Tasman Resources is a privately-owned New Zealand company. It was established in 2007 to explore, assess and develop the potential of the rich offshore iron ore deposits off the Taranaki and west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Prospecting work to date suggests there is a vast world-class mineral resource which could supply Asian markets with a reliable supply of low-cost iron ore.