Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) is a private New Zealand company that was established in 2007 to explore the North Island’s west coast iron sand deposits. TTR is headquartered in Wellington and is funded by New Zealand and international investment.
Since inception TTR has spent more than $50 million on exploration to understand the resource, engineering, marketing, studying the existing physical and ecological environment and identifying potential impacts to develop an iron sands extraction project which balances realising economic development and protecting the environment. Based on this scientific information TTR has identified an economically developable mining area; assessed the surrounding environment and proposed technology to extract the iron sand in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner. As a demonstration of this commitment TTR has placed a self-imposed ban on operations within 2 nautical miles of the coastline.
We at TTR are keen to build offshore iron ore extraction into a vibrant new resource industry for New Zealand, which helps local communities to thrive, and keep skilled New Zealanders in the country.
On 21 November 2013 the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) notified TTR’s application for marine consents to extract iron sands in the South Taranaki Bight. The application is among the first projects to be considered under the new Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (the EEZ Act).
The application is for a project area of 65.76 km2 approximately 22-36 km off the coast of Patea, in water depths of 20-45 m. TTR proposes to extract up to 50 million tonnes of sediment per year and process the sediment aboard a floating processing storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). Around 5 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate will be exported. The remaining sediment will be re-deposited on the seafloor in a controlled manner, usually backfilling previous mined areas.
The public submission process has opened. The public can outline their particular concerns with the project so that the EPA’s decision makers can assess those concerns against TTR’s evidence. The public submissions period will last 20 working days and will close at 5pm on 19 December 2013. Further information about the EEZ Act, TTR’s application documents and how to make a submission is available on the EPA’s website www.epa.govt.nz/EEZ/trans_tasman