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iron and gold mining in new zealand

new zealand: mining, minerals and fuel resources

new zealand: mining, minerals and fuel resources

New Zealand is an island nation located in the southwest Pacific Ocean to the southeast of Australia. The total area of the country is 267,710 km2 with a population of 4,327,944 as of July 2012. Its climatic condition is mostly temperate.

After years of colonization, New Zealand slowly emerged as an independent economy that is more self-reliant and moving towards advanced industrialization with a free market policy. Despite the economic downturn and subsequent recession in 2009, the countrys economy managed a 1.7% growth in 2010 and 2% growth the following year. The countrys GDP was $123.8 billion as of 2011.

New Zealands natural resources include gold, silver, natural gas, iron ore, coal, and limestone. Despite having a variety of mineral resources, the production of the countrys mineral industry is lesser than that of its neighbor Australia. The total exports of New Zealand were valued at $32.2 billion and total imports were valued at US$31.4 billion in 2010. Australia continues to be New Zealands main import and export trading partner.

The metallic mineral occurrences in New Zealand include silver, gold, iron, chromium, copper, gallium, lead, lithium, magnesite, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, platinum-group metals, rare earths, tin, antimony, bauxite, zinc, beryllium, titanium, tungsten, and uranium. However, only gold, iron, and silver were produced in 2010. Production of other metallic minerals would be undertaken by the country only if it is economically feasible and prices are favorable.

The major players in gold production are Newmont Mining Corp. of USA and OceanaGold Corp. The Macraes gold projects conducted by OceanaGold include the Frasers underground mine and the Macraes open pit mine on the east coast of the South Island, and a 1-million-Mt/yr processing plant and the Reefton open pit mine on the west coast.

The major players in New Zealands cement industry are Golden Bay Cement and Holcim New Zealand Ltd. There are plans to replace the old cement plant at Weston, near Oamatu, with a newly constructed modern technology plant by Holcim New Zealand Ltd. so as to increase production capacity and minimize emissions.

New Zealands coal resources are abundant, amounting to about 15 billion Mt (Gt); however, only 8.6 Gt has been economically recoverable. As of 2010, five underground and 16 opencast mines were operating in the country. The government owns nearly 50% of the countrys coal resources.

Pike River Coal Ltd. completed the Pike River coal mine construction activities in 2010 at the west coast of the South Island. The company constructed a 2,300-m adit to access the recoverable resource amounting to 18 Mt of low-ash coking coal.Natural gas and oil are produced from 19 fields spread around the Taranaki Basin.

According to reports, the Government of New Zealand has recently decided to remove some of the existing restrictions on public areas, which could be potential mineral exploration zones leading to a significant contribution to the countrys economy. The government has also extended the tax exemption for mining exploration companies up to December 31, 2014.

In July this year, 28 miners were trapped underground due to a fire in a gold mine owned by Newmont. Although the miners were safely rescued, it brought mining safety issues to the forefront and the mining sector has now urged the government to upgrade its mining practices to world-class standards.

Disclaimer: The Author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

prospecting and mining for gold in new zealand

prospecting and mining for gold in new zealand

The country produces about 10.6 tons of gold annually and still has a lot of unexplored gold resources. Gold is the top mineral resource mined in New Zealand and makes a significant contribution to the economy of the country also. The mining sector employees over twenty thousand people and contribute about 1% of the countrys GDP.

The history of gold mining in New Zealand can be traced back to ancient times when the indigenous Maori people first settled in the land. However, the most documented history starts in the late 19th century when European first settled in the country. The exploration and commercial mining of gold was first done by the European colonizers who occupied the country during the late 19th century and early 20the century.

The first gold deposit worked by the European settlers was discovered in 1852 in the Coromandel. This started both the Otago and the West Coast gold rush that brought in more Europeans who were eager to make it in life.

Due to the longer history of gold mining in New Zealand, some of the early gold mines have been closed down. Some of these have been converted to recreational facilities where you can visit and try your hand at mining gold with the family.

Metal detecting is also a popular pastime for many miners who are able to find gold nuggets in many of the famous goldfields throughout the country. Gold nuggets from New Zealand are generally of very high purity, and some that have been discovered over the past few decades have been very large as well.

This Open pit gold mine is the largest gold mine in New Zealand. The Mine is located in the Otago region about 100 km north of Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand. The mine is estimated to have produced about four million ounce of gold since 1990 when it was commissioned. The mine is owned and operated by the OceanaGold.

This mine is located adjacent to the Macraes gold mine in Otago region on the South Island of New Zealand. The mine was opened in 2008 and is operating at more than 740 meters below the earth surface.

This is another important open pit gold mine in New Zealand. The mine is located about 7km southeast of the historical gold mining town of Reefton on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand. The operation at the mine started in 2007 and is run by OceanaGold in conjunction with the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

This is another important gold mine in New Zealand. OceanaGold acquired the mine in 2015 from the Newmont Mining Corporation. The mine is located in the Southeast of Auckland within the Waihi township on the north island. The mine is made up of two operations; the Martha open pit mine and the Trio underground mine. The Martha open pit gold mining project is a hard rock mining operation that was started in the 1970s. Favona underground operation was started in 2004 at 335 meters below the earth surface. The processing of the mined ore is done in the same plant as those from the Martha project.

This gold project is located adjacent to the Waihi gold mine in Auckland, New Zealand. The project is still underdevelopment and not much mining has been done there yet. The New Talisman Gold Mines Limited (formerly Heritage Gold NZ Limited) holds a mining permit and an exploration permit over the Hauraki Gold Field. Its subsidiary Coromandel Gold Limited, holds an exploration permit for gold next to the Waihi gold filed. There is considerable gold in the ground still waiting to be dug up.

seabed mining approved in new zealand despite environmentalists concerns

seabed mining approved in new zealand despite environmentalists concerns

New Zealands Environmental Protection Authority approved Trans-Tasman Resources application to mine iron sands from the seabed of South Taranaki Bight, located 22 kilometres to 36 kilometres offshore from Patea.

The approval means that Trans-Tasman is now allowed to recover resources from the countrys Exclusive Economic Zone. In detail, the company wants to dig up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year, for 35 years, to get five million tonnes of iron ore per year. The South Taranaki Bight has reported JORC iron sand mineral resources of 1,698Mt at 11.16% Fe2O3 for the Mine Area and adjacent Kupe Blocks at a 3.5% Davis Tube Recovery cutoff and a further 2,137Mt at 9.66% Fe2O3 for Stage 2 Block mine areas.

The sand will be processed aboard a purpose-built 345-metre integrated mining vessel, whose construction TTR would start soon. The company expects to begin exporting iron ore from the site to Asia in 2020.

The decision around the proposed offshore mining project, however, comes following months of debates and consultations, and it was not unanimous. Some members of the EPAs Decision-making Committee did not agree in the final deliberations, citing concerns over localised adverse environmental effects.

The committees rationale for granting consent is set out in the over 300-page decision document and includes conditions and operating constraints to limit the scale, intensity and duration of the discharge effects of residual material to the seabed, known as sediment plume, as well as impacts on marine mammals, the agencys report reads.

In response, TTRs Executive Chairman, Alan Eggers, sent out a press release stating that his company has undertaken extensive marine environmental work in the STB and that he is convinced that a low impact sustainable export industry can function in the area.

We have to take the only responsible route here by appealing this decision, on behalf of the future of our coastal peoples and environment, the blue whales, Maui dolphins and little penguins. We saw at least 13,700 people object to this proposal, and the only logical next step is to challenge that decision on their behalf, said KASM Chairperson, Phil McCabe, in a statement.

Why on earth would anyone want to mine a low grade iron ore from the sea bed? One of the commodities the world is not short of is land based high grade iron ore deposits. The New Zealand government must be crazy to allow this project to go ahead.

Seabed iron sand is the future. In situ iron concentrations may be low but the quality can be improved through cheap gravity and magnetic separation processes. There are two mines which have been successfully mining/dredging land based New Zealand iron sands for the past 30years. TTR has the advantage of no neighbours, no ports, no rail, a mobile processing facility and a system that lends itself to automation. The entire west coast of New Zealand is covered in similar deposits. If TTR can control the sediment plume and manage their social license they will do very well.

I see stark contrast between how they treat two different set of projects. Adani coal project in Australia. Your mind becomes numb looking at the different ways vested interests are protesting. Even after authorities considered all their concerns and cleared the project, the vested groups are again protesting on same points. Even some so called religious people are protesting. They say Australia is doomed if Adani mines coal. They say global warming will be because of Adani coal used in power plants. They say Great Barrier reef will die if ships transport Adani coal. They say religion is in great danger if Adani creates coal jobs. They say all the future problems in Australia will be on behalf of Adani. On the other hand, sea bed mining is permitted in NZ. I mean these are two extreme ends. I agree with the logic of Garret that as long as the sediment plume can be controlled, it is OK. However such logic and people with logic are missing in Adani case.

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