Mining: the life blood of the West Coast’s economy

Let’s go goldmining

“It’s easy,” he said!

But it is not as easy, after all. We have a look at some of the fees and processes associated with obtaining a Mining license. The costs faced by the license owner and the miner can run to thousands of dollars.

The Permits

There are a number of different categories here:

  • Prospecting Permit – this is needed to identify land likely to contain exploitable deposits. Application for Prospecting Permit costs the miner $3,450.00.
  • Exploration Permit – this is needed to identify deposits and evaluate the feasibility of mining. Application for Exploration Permit costs the miner $3,450.00.
  • Mining Permit – this is needed for the economic recovery of an identified resource.

Application for Mining Permit Tier 2, costs $5,750.00 while $16,675.00 is payable for a Tier 1 Permit (bigger operations).  Again, the miner writes the cheque for both of these.

Central Government Applications

Applicant Details. In addition, the services of an accountant are required by the miner to write up the applicant details showing, among other things, previous experience and financial details.

The Plan. A plan is required, clearly defining the area being applied for – a cadastral plan showing legal boundaries is preferred, although however a topographical plan or aerial survey may be used. A consultant and surveyor are needed for this plan whose costs are the responsibility of the miner.

Work Programme. A work programme is also required which clearly sets out all of the work intended to be undertaken during the duration of the permit. The work programme must include an estimate of expenditure. Again, the miner has to employ the services of a consultant to help prepare the work programme.

Specific information regarding what needs to be submitted for each of the above sections can be found on the form itself – which serves as both Form and Information Sheet.

Local Government Applications

Resource Consent. Of course, a Resource Consent is required, issued by the Regional Council and for which the services of a consultant are required.

Programme Approval. The programme of work also needs to be approved by the West Coast Regional Council. Cost of this application is borne by the miner.

Monitoring the Resource Consent. Then there are the costs incurred by the miner for WCRC to monitor the resource consent and to investigate every complaint laid often by anonymous or not affected parties.


Landowner Agreement. The miner reaches an agreement with the landowner which usually falls between 8% to10% of all gold recovered.

Let’s go goldmining