Mining: the life blood of the West Coast’s economy
With high demand for steel, coking coal will continue to be in demand internationally.
In the midterm, thermal coal will continue play a role in warming New Zealand’s schools and hospitals, keeping the lights on, and underpinning the competitiveness of our food producers against food imports and on the export market for dairy, meat, fish, and fresh produce.
Gold has been a prized resource for thousands of years. Historically used as currency and in jewellery, it is now also used for dentistry, conduction, electronics, medicine, and aeronautics. As the world faces climate change and countries transition to low carbon energy, demand for fossil fuels will drop and the need for other minerals will skyrocket.
A low carbon economy needs wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, and electric cars.
Many minerals will be needed. Of those, rare earths, copper, nickel, lead, lithium, and zinc have been identified by GNS Science as being found on the West Coast. Whether payable quantities can be extracted will depend on market conditions and technology at the time.
Mining’s history in the region is due to pioneering, adaptation, and innovation, and that will certainly be the case in the future.