Miner’s Monthly: February 2024

Gold discoveries worth billions of dollars make headlines in the Press

January coverage in The Press covered the ongoing work of many large explorers and miners on the West Coast, and elsewhere in New Zealand such as Coromandel and Otago.

The article by West Coast based Stuff reporter, Joanne Naish, covers New Talisman’s work establishing underground operations at Karangaheke Gorge in the Coromandel between Paeroa and Waihi (where Minerals West Coast trustee, Lincoln Smith of Terra Firma, pictured above, is contracted to New Talisman), Santana Minerals’ efforts to develop a $9Billion gold resource near Cromwell, and Federation Mining’s work establishing its Snowy River Gold Mine near Reefton (pictured below).

Latest figures show gold production increasing

In addition to projects in exploration or development phases, gold production on the West Coast and throughout New Zealand has been increasing in recent years according to the latest numbers from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals.

Figures published in late 2023 (based on the 2022 annual summary reports) indicate that West Coast alluvial gold production hit about 31,900 ounces in 2022 (up on 28,995 ounces in 2021), marking a 10% increase in volume on the year before.

Near record gold prices mean the increase in value was even greater. In 2022, the West Coast’s alluvial gold production was valued $80,127,516.00 (compared to $64,631,428.00 in 2021), an increase of 23.9% in dollar terms.

New Zealand’s total gold production in 2022 was 235,402 ounces, up 14.7% on 205,118 ounces in 2021. This captures hard rock gold production at Macraes and Waihi, as well as alluvial gold mining elsewhere in the South Island such as Tasman, Marlborough, Otago, and Southland.

The total value of New Zealand’s gold production in 2022 was $610,328,723.00, up 29% on $472,844,046 in 2021.

Full figures can be found online on New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals’ website.

Resources minister promoting mining’s potential

New Zealand’s new minister for resources and associate minister for energy, Shane Jones, continues to express support for the mining sector in New Zealand.

In a recent interview on The Country, Shane Jones told Jamie McKay “we are going to have a flourishing mining sector in New Zealand. It is going to be in rural New Zealand, regional New Zealand, stop the nefs (nephews) from going over to Australia to look for a job and meet the interest of working class, working families, and jobs in the regions. If it comes from the natural resource base of fisheries, of mining, of farming, of forestry, that is the legacy and model our country was built on”.

You can listen to the full interview of Shane Jones on The Country below.

Minerals West Coast’s manager, Patrick Phelps, met with Shane Jones in Auckland in January to discuss issues relating to the minerals sector. The minister expressed strong support for streamlining processes for the allocation of mining permits, access arrangements, and resource consents, and made it clear officials are already working to identify what policies and procedures can be changed to better enable the establishment of new mining projects on the West Coast and throughout the country. Minerals West Coast will continue to engage with the minister and government staff as this work develops. 

Lincoln Smith (managing director of Terra Firma and Minerals West Coast trustee) hosts manager, Patrick Phelps, at New Talisman’s Karangaheke Gorge mine site in January. 

Continuing to produce online information about mining and resources

Minerals West Coast is always working to inform the wider public of the value of the minerals sector. At present this involves frequent production of video content on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Several recent videos, covering the relationship between Māori and mining, foreign investment in mining, and mining’s role in the pay differences between Australia and New Zealand are below.