Mining: the lifeblood of the Coast’s economy

Mining news

NPS Indigenous diversity delayed until 2021

The threat of having both public and private land designated a ‘significant natural areas’ under the proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) 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 Government in June raised the fixed price option for coal units under the Emisions Trading Scheme (ETS) to $35.00, effectively lifting the ceiling price by $10. This increase has significantly increased 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 of ETS coal units continues to rise.

Submissions on air quality and mercury now ended

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.

Conservation mining ban off the table till after election

The word is that the issue of banning mining on conservation land (announced in the government’s speech from the throne in November 2017) has been kicked for touch till after the general election. MP Damien O’Connor said in the Grey Star last month there would be no moves on the issue before the election, and the Greens have since confirmed they are having difficulty in getting the ban confirmed. This gives miners time to make a case for the industry retaining access to the conservation estate.

Mining news