The Herald reports:
Investment in resource extraction from New Zealand’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone has taken a major knock today, with a decision-making committee of the Environmental Protection Authority rejecting an application from TransTasman Resources to mine ironsands off the seabed some 22 to 36 kilometres off the coast of Patea.
TTR issued a statement disclosing the rejection ahead of detail from the EPA, saying it was “extremely disappointed with the decision.”
The company spent some $60 million over seven years developing the project, which it believed could be achieved in an environmentally sustainable way and create additional exports of around $150 million a year from the export of around five million tonnes annually of titano-magnetite iron ore to Asian steelmills, using a suction dredging process that would have returned 90 per cent of the sands to the ocean floor.
“We have put a significant amount of time and effort into developing this project including consulting with iwi and local communities and undertaking detailed scientific research to assess environmental impacts of the project,” said TTR’s chief executive, Tim Crossley.
“Our objective has been to develop an iron sands extraction project which achieves substantial economic development while protecting the environment.
The EPA makes independent decisions, and they obviously didn’t feel comfortable approving the project.
It is a pity though as there was huge economic potential from ironsands, and the area being applied for was in Taranaki, well away from any well populated beach areas,
But at least it means those who claimed the new EPA process wouldn’t protect the environment can’t scaremonger any more on that.