Miner’s Monthly: May 2024

Reminder to not miss resources minister's speech in Blackball on 23rd of May

Minerals West Coast would like to remind its members that the government’s resources minister, Shane Jones, will be delivering a speech at the Blackball Community Hall next week in Blackball.

The event will begin about 3:30pm and run through till 5:30pm, with Shane Jones delivering a speech titled Minerals: The Future, in which he will outline his views on the future of the mining sector and what that means for the West Coast region.

Minerals West Coast anticipates the event will be well attended and encourages anyone wanting a front row seat to arrive on time. It is open to anyone wishing to attend.

Minerals West Coast outlines value of mining in NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald’s business editor at large, Liam Dann, outlined the economic gap between the Australian and New Zealand economies in a recent opinion piece. He also covered the large number of New Zealanders choosing to live there, but posited the difference between the two economies could not be attributed solely to mining, saying:

"But structurally Australia is a much stronger and wealthier economy. Why? Yes, they have access to enormous mineral wealth. But to blame the difference on that alone is a cop-out. New Zealand is also blessed with outsize natural resources relative to its population. The scale of our agriculture, horticulture and forestry, the size of our fisheries and the capacity for tourism are huge on a per capita basis. But per person, we have lower productivity and lower rates of savings and investment.”

On the 7th of May the New Zealand Herald published a response opinion piece from Minerals West Coast’s manager, Patrick Phelps, in which he argues mining is indeed the difference between the Australian economies, simplistic as that may seem as an explanation.

If you wish to read the piece on the New Zealand Herald’s website, you can do so by clicking here.

If you do not have a New Zealand Herald subscription, you can read a copy of the article on Minerals West Coast’s website by clicking here.

Ongoing role of coal in New Zealand’s electricity sector

Minerals West Coast works to frequently produce content and information relating to the mining and resources sector. In response to recent coverage from RNZ on the future of coal in New Zealand’s electricity sector, Minerals West Coast produced the below video, taking to their full logical conclusion comparisons made between the electricity sectors of the United Kingdom and New Zealand. 

New “Tier 3” permit status proposed for small scale and recreational gold mining

Resources minister, Shane Jones, announced in early May that the government is considering setting up a new tier under the minerals permitting regime for hobby and small scale gold mining activities such as black sanding and suction dredging.

A proposed “Tier 3” permit is under consideration (as part of wider changes to the Crown Minerals Act) to allow New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals to focus attention and resource on applications where they are most needed.

Shane Jones said “Currently under the Crown Minerals Act, the same regulatory burden for a medium-sized opencast mine is applied to a hobbyist who wants to use a small suction dredge to look for gold in a river. This is a prime example of where the time, effort and resources regulators and applicants are putting into permit applications vastly exceeds the risks and value of the activity.”

The minister also said “There are currently around 200 permits for small-scale non-commercial gold mining, generally producing around $10,000 worth of gold per annum in total. These permits often supplement incomes or pensions and, on occasion, can unearth more significant gold finds. I want to see more New Zealanders have the opportunity to undertake and benefit from small-scale gold mining, without having to demonstrate things like a mineable resource in their applications or provide the annual reporting that a larger-scale operation would face”.

You can read the full press release on the government’s website by clicking here.

A thank you to Minerals West Coast's membership for your ongoing support

As a member funded industry organisation Minerals West Coast relies on the ongoing support of its membership to continue to operate and act on behalf of the shared interests of those in the mining industry, in the West Coast region and with a growing number of members in other areas of New Zealand, including Coromandel, Marlborough, Tasman, Otago, and Southland. 

The ability to retain existing members and recruit new members is the single best measurement Minerals West Coast has of its ability to be an effective and relevant industry association, and as a vote of confidence from operators working in various areas of the sector. 

A list of membership for the 2024 year can be found below. Thank you to all longstanding members for your ongoing support, and to all new members for coming on board.

Minerals West Coast membership: 

Aratuna Freighters Limited; Arrow Mining 2010 Limited; Bathurst Resources Limited; BCP Associates (New Zealand) Limited; Boatman’s Gold Limited; Birchfield’s Ross Mining Limited; Brian Blacktopp Limited; Brightwater Engineering Limited; BRM Developments Limited; Coast Toyota Limited; Coopers Drilling Services Limited; Cory Sutherland; Croft T Limited; DaBaJinKuang Limited; Danny Walker; Davis Ogilvie Limited; Dispatch and Garlick Limited; Eco Drilling Limited; Elect Mining Limited; Equip Engineering Limited; Fahey Contracting Limited; Federation Mining Limited; G Trax Limited; Glenys Perkins Consulting Limited; Graham Ferguson; Greenbriar Limited; Greypower Gold Limited; Henry Adams Contracting Limited; Hose and Hydraulic Centre Limited; Liddell Contracting Limited; MBD Contracting Limited; McCann Mining Limited; Michael Back; Mill Creek Mining Limited; Mine Waste Management Limited; ML Contracting Limited; Montgomery Gold Limited; Mountain Range Resources Limited; MS Moore Contracting Limited; My Own Mining Limited; New Creek Mining Limited; New Talisman Limited; New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research Limited; New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust; Paramount Mining Limited; Patrick Meates; Phoenix Mining Limited; Pine Ridge Mining Limited; Port Contractors Limited; Port Elizabeth Utilities Limited; Porter Hire Limited; Prospect Solutions Limited; R.B Devlin Auto Electrical Limited; RAD Hokitika Limited; Rua Gold Limited; Rosco Contractors Limited; Santana Minerals Limited; SGS New Zealand Limited; Smith Diesel Limited; South Sea Properties Limited; Tai Poutini Polytechnic Limited; Teronick Mining Limited; Terra Firma Limited; Verum Group Limited; Vivienne Bull Tenement Consultant Limited; Westland Consultancy Limited; William Perry