Mining: the lifeblood of the Coast’s economy

 We are fortunate on the coast to have an enviable mineral resource that underpins our economy. Coasters Weekly continues its series on this most vital industry.

Could you continue to run a small Coast-based horticultural business using coal as your heat source?

The minerals industry is very concerned that Government decisions regarding the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) pushed carbon prices up 28% in a recent eight-day trading window. The industry believes this increase must be reversed as such a price hike will hit every family that buys food and heats their home using coal.

Coasters Weekly editor Bruce Smith talks with Pattrick Phelps, CE Minerals West Coast, about the impact of the ETS on the price of coal and on the cost and supply of our food.

Patrick Phelps manager Minerals West Coast.

COULD YOU CONTINUE TO RUN A SMALL COAST BASED HORTOCULTURE BUSINESS USING COAL AS YOUR HEAT SOURCE?WILL THE ETS PUT UP THE PRICE OF COAL ?BREAKING NEWS:Today 11:00am – Government decisions that have pushed carbon prices up 28 per cent in eight days of trading must be reversed, says the minerals industry.I get to ask Patrick Phelps the manager of Minerals West Coast his views on the ETS trading scheme and the latest price hikes.This will hit every family that buys food and heats their home using Coal.Thursday – Carbon hit new record prices yesterday, with forward units now more expensive than the unofficial $35 price cap.Coal companies want carbon price slashed to avoid the increased costs being dumped on Coasters and the rest of New Zealand.

Posted by The Coasters Club on Thursday, June 11, 2020


Mining the Mikonui River Valley

I read the article on mining in the Mikonui River Valley written by Farah Hancock. Hancock is a Newsroom reporter who covers environment, biodiversity and science. The article was on Forest and Bird website.

In the article Hancock quotes Conservationist and West Coast Conservation Board member Neil Silverwood who says when he visited the site in March, he was met with what he described as a ‘moonscape’.

“It’s heartbreaking to see public conservation land treated that way,” Silverwood says. He is extremely surprised the rehabilitation work was ticked off by DoC.

Forest & Bird’s regional advocacy manager for Canterbury/West Coast, Nicky Snoyink, was also quoted in the article. She said the West Coast was losing native forest to mining.

I am more than a little concerned with such statements as they are quite untrue. I took a drive up the Mikonui Valley with my camera to have a look for myself. The video below is a 17 minute excursion in which I look at the regrowth of the native bush over the mined areas; no barren ‘moonscape’, no fallen forests.

The Mikonui River has supported gold miners since 1865. Ross Greenland and the Mikonui is the centre of one of the richest alluvial deposits of gold in New Zealand. In the video I give a little history of the mining activities in this area and refute one or two untruths being tossed around out of left field.

I believe the ability of Coasters to earn a living through mining would go a long way towards helping New Zealand recover from our current economic situation. Economic recovery has to be our number one priority and mining the Mikonui would be a good start.

Watch the video here:

Bruce Smith
Mayor, Westland District Council