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Thread: NZ Mining Boom?

  1. #1

    Default NZ Mining Boom?

    Anyone been following the Government announcements over the last 2 weeks regarding possible changes to mining regulations in NZ?

    Have taken whats below from this morning news.

    Global giants eye $7 billion Kiwi bonanza

    By GARRY SHEERAN - Sunday Star Times Last updated 05:00 06/09/2009

    Under the radar and in many cases under the sea some of the biggest names in global mining are moving in on New Zealand's undeveloped mineral wealth.

    Mining giants Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals, respectively the second and third biggest iron ore producers in the world, are surveying the ore-rich west coast of the North Island, whose shoreline sands are estimated to be worth $26 billion at January 2008 prices.

    Fortescue's New Zealand subsidiary FMG Pacific was last month granted two prospecting permits for just over 12,000km2 of coastline both on and offshore running from below the Kaipara Harbour to the top of the North Island.

    In April, Fortescue was also granted offshore prospecting permits running north from New Plymouth and comprising 1523km2.

    New Zealand's ironsand deposits are the most extensive and the most concentrated in iron in the world. Typical iron content in west coast beach sands is 20-25% iron in weight.

    Besides rich iron-ore sands, for which there is huge demand in China for steel-making, Fortescue is also surveying for precious metals including lead, zinc, magnesium, silver, aluminium, tin and copper.

    Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has two applications pending on prospecting permits for offshore Taranaki and Waikato, while a third company, Trans-Tasman Resources, holds two licences to prospect ironsands in offshore North Island west coast areas running from the Rangitikei River in the south to the Waikato River.

    Trans-Tasman Resources formed two years ago by Bill Bissett, former general manager with Australian mineral sands company Iluka Resources, and ex Rio Tinto Iron Ore executive Paul Berends also has plans for building a steel mill in New Zealand, using iron sands to produce semi-processed steel slabs for export to China and South-East Asia.

    The undeveloped potential of New Zealand's mineral wealth has moved into the spotlight as the government looks for ways to match this country's standard of living with Australia's often called the "Lucky Country" because of its mineral wealth.

    A total 70% of New Zealand's mineral wealth is on or in conservation lands and the government has asked Crown Minerals to review areas with significant mineral potential that could be worth millions if removed from Department of Conservation control.

    Already there's talk of a minerals boom in New Zealand after nearly two decades when exploration spending and the rate mineral permit and licence applications have remained at a low level.

    But, says mining analyst John Kidd, the minerals rush has already begun in those parts of New Zealand not under the conservation estate, and where prospectivity is good.

    "Quietly, and for the most part out of the public gaze, some really big names are already here, and they are very serious about the potential in our iron sands," says Kidd, of brokers McDouall Stuart.

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    Another mining analyst said: "The whole process is a lot further advanced than many Kiwis think, and it is in areas available for exploration now."

    The west coasts of both islands are being targeted, with almost the entire North Island west coast now under prospecting permits.

    The permits run for up to five years. During that time, the mining companies will be mapping sea beds and taking samples, says Kidd. If they decide to mine, they will then have to apply for mining licences and go through extensive resource consent processes.

    However, he says some of the numbers now being talked about show rich prizes, not just for the mining companies but also for New Zealand.

    Kidd says a significant, but "very feasible" mining operation could produce up to 50 million tonnes of iron sands a year. "That's a top-end figure, but it's what is being talked about."

    With iron ore prices around $US100 a tonne, that would mean just one successful iron ore project could earn up to $7 billion a year at current forex rates, enough to halve New Zealand's balance of payments deficit.

    "The impact of the Tui oil field on New Zealand's external account during 2007-08 is part testament to what can happen, andTui was not a large field by international standards," Kidd says.
    "Saigon.....sh*t..... I'm still only in Saigon" - Capt. Willard

  2. #2

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom?

    Hallo I am new to this forum. This is my first post. I have been following this topic closely for some time. The present National government is very much in favour of opening New Zealand up to environmentally friendly mining. Details of a stocktake of the country's inground assets should be available by years end. Oil and Gas exploration is also beginning to ramp up. Watch this space.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Smile Re: NZ Mining Boom?

    'Billions' under national parks

    By VERNON SMALL - The Dominion Post Last updated 05:00 05/10/2009

    The Government is being urged to allow prospecting for coal, oil and precious metals in some of the country's most important national parks, papers show.

    In advice to the Cabinet, the Economic Development Ministry has identified particular minerals, such as oil in Fiordland, that are "highly prospective".

    They could be exploited if protection for conservation land under Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act were relaxed.

    "Land with the best potential for metals such as zinc, lead, copper, molybdenum, nickel, rare earth elements, tin and tungsten is located in areas included within Schedule 4 (e.g Kahurangi National Park)," they said.

    Kahurangi alone had potential mineral reserves of $50 billion.

    The advice, released under the Official Information Act, shows the Conservation Department saw merit in looking at areas such as the east of Paparoa National Park. But reviewing the Coromandel and Kahurangi "would be likely to provoke a strong negative reaction from parts of the community".

    The revelations have sparked fierce criticism from the Green Party, which accuses the Government of preparing to steal the country's precious national parks.

    DOC said high conservation values meant there were very few places listed on Schedule 4 where mining activity would be considered appropriate.

    Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee has proposed a broad "stocktake" of the country's estimated $140b of mineral resources, 70 per cent of which was on the conservation estate.

    That has prompted a warning from the Tourism Industry Association that opening the conservation estate to mining could put the $20b tourism industry at risk.

    Green co-leader Metiria Turei said the advice exposed the Government's plan. "They already know what they want, and they're preparing to steal it from the public. Far from not wanting to mine in national parks and only being interested in `low-value' areas, the officials' advice shows they are keen to mine our most precious parks."

    Mr Brownlee played down that likelihood yesterday, but did not rule it out. "The question was: `Do you have a stocktake that ignores the national parks?' My view was strongly `no, let's have a look at it'."

    Coalmining was already allowed at Pyke River in Paparoa National Park and there were 82 mining operations on conservation land.

    "It's highly unlikely that you are going to see widespread mining activities in national parks." Asked if there could be some, he said: "I can't even say that. Who knows what's there. I personally think it's highly unlikely."

    The Government would be mindful of national parks' intrinsic value, but there were huge benefits from mining.

    Dairy farming produced $3500 a hectare, but mining operations produced $175,000 a hectare. "So you can get big economic scale from very very small tracts of land."
    "Saigon.....sh*t..... I'm still only in Saigon" - Capt. Willard

  5. #5

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom?

    The national government has backed down on opening schedule 4 land to mining due to a public outcry particularly from environmentalists. However this has not stopped some of the aerial surveying which over Northland and the West Coast of the South Island, where much of the population and local authorities are very much in favour of mining. The iron sands industry is also looking at building a new steel mill worth between $3-5 billion. New Zealand's iron ore industry could prove very lucrative and due to its low costs of production could easily become the country's top export earner. Funding for the mill may involve an IPO in the form of a float.

  6. #6

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom?

    I drove from Auckland to Wellington recently to catvch a couple of Tri-Nations games and must have seen 20-30 signs saying
    "Save our sea beds "
    "Don't sell our Sea etc "
    (i did not know at the time what it meant)

    these were farmers , no-where near the ocean , or city's, for that feeling to have reached tat far "i feel" the government has a hard push to make this happen.
    not that i think it would be bad for NZ

  7. #7

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom?

    What is the basis for valuing these reserves using "January 2008 prices"? Why not January 2009 or January 2010?
    Attached Images
    Disclosure: Long cash, gold, stocks.

  8. #8

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom? You're having a LARF aren't you?!?!?

    I just managed to evacuate my family from Christchurch NZ - inbetween earthquakes - so got out financially unscathed & sold-up everything (immaculate timing if I say so myself). In my experience the NZ population don't want their beautiful country spoiled by mining, pollution and all that goes with status as a 'developed' nation - all the while driving 'round in gas-guzzling 4x4's, living in weatherboarded uninsulated huts (I know, having to chop logs at 5am for 2 years to keep the woodburners fed every morning!) and having the highest carbon emissions per capita in the World... which is why 100,000+ come out on the streets declaring 'NIMBY! NIMBY!' - and which is why I LOVE this FOTC sketch with Murray trapped in a lift with a bunch of Aussies from their economic development dept... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buoztHLk9JQ - Classic! There is a difference between 'DOING IT TOUGH' and 'DOING IT STUPID' - it's just that I don't think they have the first clue which is which...

  9. #9

    Default Re: NZ Mining Boom? You're having a LARF aren't you?!?!?

    Just WATCH the property market on the Gold Coast plummet if Kiwis actually can start going BACK.

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