Miner’s Monthly: June 2020

NPS Indigenous Diversity delay until 2021

The threat of Significant Natural Areas and other implications of the proposed national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity has been delayed until April 2021 at the earliest – after this year’s general election on the 19th of September. The policy would have been wide reaching in its ability to prevent land use on both public and private lands. The Ministry for the Environment said in an email yesterday that delivery of the national policy statement has been delayed due to the impacts of Covid19.

Coal users face higher energy costs as ETS unit price continues to rise

The price for units under the emissions trading scheme has been holding over $30.00 NZ a unit since the government in June lifted the fixed price option for units under the ETS up to $35.00, effectively lifting the price ceiling by ten dollars. The market has responded, and since the change the price of units has gone up to over $30.00 a unit, significantly increasing coal users’ operating costs,  to the point where some operators are beginning to question the viability of their businesses. The impacts on New Zealand businesses, food producers and processors, and schools and hospitals will grow more severe as the price continues to rise.

Submission on air quality and mercury use due at end of July

It remains unclear what the impact of new regulations on air quality will have on mercury use in refining alluvial gold. Submissions are due by the end of July on the government consultation document on changes to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality. The consultation document is vague about what is being proposed, nonetheless Minerals West Coast will be submitting on the proposals, and wishes to hear from any gold miners who still use mercury to refine gold and would be effected if restrictions were put in place.

CPD event successful – more to come

A good turn out about 20 – 30 miners at this month’s CPD training event was encouraging. Wayne Scott, chief executive of MinEx, updated miners on obligations and new health and safety practices for quarries and alluvial gold mines. Minerals West Coast will be arranging another training event for the month of July, and information will be out on this shortly. 

Gold mining and ETS covered on Nights, RNZ

About once every 10 weeks Minerals West Coast’s manager, Patrick Phelps, features on RNZ’s evening programme, Nights with Bryan Crump. In the most recent feature, Patrick and Bryan discussed the impact of the emissions trading scheme, and the past and present  state of gold mining on the West Coast.