Miner’s Monthly: October 2021

Minerals West Coast and West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association Annual General Meetings

Minerals West Coast’s annual general meeting will be held in Reefton on Thursday the 28th of October, starting at 4pm at St John’s Reefton, on Smith Street.

The annual general meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual general meeting of the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association.

Among other matters to address at the meeting will be the presentation to members of annual reports and financial statements, the appointment of trustees and election of chairperson, and with regard to the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association, a final decision on whether or not to amalgamate with Minerals West Coast, subject to the support of members.

After the annual general meeting, depending on travel restrictions and other Covid-19 related issues, there may be two presentations to attendants. The first from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff, to discuss steps being taken to address the permit applications queue. 

The second presentation will be from MinEx chief executive, Wayne Scoot, the national health and safety council for the mining and quarrying sectors. Wayne will explain changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act Mining and Quarrying Regulations, which are likely to take affect near the end of this year.

At 6pm the presentations will end and there will be dinner and drinks at Wilson’s bar and restaurant.

Please email Patrick Phelps onmanager@mwc.org.nz to RSVP for dinner and drinks so Minerals West Coast can do the venue the courtesy of making a booking. 

If not, Minerals West Coast makes no promises will be you will be seated or fed.

Minerals West Coast and West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association meeting Wednesday 6th of October

Minerals West Coast is continuing to work with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals on addressing the mining industry’s concerns with the processing of permit applications and other permissions under the Crown Minerals Act.

Minerals West Coast understands that New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is taking steps to address the backlog of permit applications in the queue. This includes filling two vacancies within the organisation’s permitting team with the recent recruitment of two new minerals advisors, and in addition the engagement of a temporary contractor to help with reducing the number permits waiting in the queue.

Minerals West Coast is working with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff on the reestablishment of processing performance reports, to give the industry greater visibility and clarity of New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals’ workload and how quickly permits are being processed relative to how many are lodged in a given period.

Consultation on freshwater policy may allow consents to be granted for earthworks in wetlands

The government, through the Ministry for the Environment, is consulting on changing regulations put in place in the course of its freshwater law changes that prohibited earthworks in wetlands.

This effectively made mining, quarrying, and earthworks for construction and infrastructure impossible under the laws as written.

The consultation document, ‘Managing our wetlands’, sets out proposals to:

  • Change the definition of ‘natural wetland’ to make it clearer and ensure only the areas intended for protection are captured by the regulations
  • Make more allowance for restoration, maintenance, and biosecurity work to be carried out in and around natural wetlands
  • Allow for activities like quarrying, managed land fill, land fill, clean fill, mining, and urban development to be carried out through a consenting process

This means it may be possible to obtain permission through obtaining a resource consent for mining in areas where, as the law stands, it would not be possible to even apply for permission to mine, let alone mine.

Minerals West Coast will be submitting on this consultation – the 17-page consultation, while no contender for the Whitcoulls’ top ten, is available here.

If you have any points you think Minerals West Coast should raise in its submission, please contact Patrick Phelps on either 021 238 6846, or manager@mwc.org.nz

Mining Matter #11: Keeping the lights on

Through winter in 2021 New Zealand’s experienced power cuts and coal-fired electricity generation that’s been up on lower levels in recent years.

For instance, on 2016, New Zealand burned only 228,179 tonnes of coal for electricity generation, but in 2020, 798,723 tonnes.

In Mining matters #11, Minerals West Coast’s manager, Patrick Phelps, takes a look at coal use in New Zealand’s electricity sector.