EPA greenlights seabed mining off South Taranaki Bight

The Environmental Protection Authority has approved an application by Trans-Tasman Resources to progress with sea bed mining off the South Taranaki Bight.

The decision gives Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) the go-ahead to mine 50 million tonnes of material from a 66 square kilometre area off Patea every year for up to 35 years in order to extract iron ore.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)’s Decision-Making Committee arrived at their decision following an extensive inquiry that involved hearings in Wellington and New Plymouth.

The four-member panel was divided  over TTR’s application.  The Committee’s chair Alick Shaw, a certified Resource Management Act (RMA) decision-maker who has acted as an independent hearings commissioner on resource management applications, used his casting vote to deliver a favourable outcome for TTR.

Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, the main submitter opposing the application, said they were “stunned” by EPA’s decision and intend to appeal it. There is a 15-day window for appeals to be lodged against the decision.

According to a report by NBR, TTR issued new shares on the eve of the ruling, increasing the company’s total shares by 9.5%. Of the 14,874 shares issued, TTR’s Executive Chair Allan Eggars took up 13, 375.

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