Welcome to Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd

Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) is a New Zealand based and managed company established in 2007 to explore and develop New Zealand’s offshore mineral sand deposits. 


The latest South Taranaki Bright Fact Sheet 2019


Commentary on recent media misinformation and exaggerated claims relating to TTR's South Taranaki Brights iron sands project


Read more on TTR's World Class Vanadium Rich Titomagnetite Iron sands Project in STB Update 2019


In 2016 TTR’s most advanced project is the South Taranaki Bight (STB) iron sands project located 22km to 36km offshore from Patea. The Company also has a granted Prospecting Permit covering potential high grade (>10%HM) heavy mineral sand deposits offshore the West Coast of the South Island containing ilmenite, zircon, rutile, garnet and gold similar to the onshore Barrytown deposit. 

The STB project has reported JORC iron sand mineral resources of 1,698Mt @ 11.16% Fe2O3 for the Mine Area and adjacent Kupe Blocks at a 3.5% Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) cutoff and a further 2,137Mt @ 9.66% Fe2O3 for Stage 2 Block mine areas. These resources, in 25 to 60 metres of water, are located within New Zealand’s territorial 12 nautical mile limit (RMA) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

The STB project pre feasibility study (PFS) is based on dredging 50Mt of iron sand each year, separating around 10% titano-magnetite from the sediment offshore, and returning 90% of the sand to the seabed backfilling mined areas.

The sands will be processed offshore aboard a purpose built 345 metre integrated mining vessel (IMV). This vessel is designed to operate through almost all known weather conditions in the STB. The iron sand will be extracted by remote controlled 450t seabed crawlers, excavating up to 8,000t hour, similar to those operated by DeBeers Marine offshore Namibia to recover diamonds. The IMV will have a purpose built metallurgical processing plant on board producing 5Mt titano-magnetite concentrate a year grading around 56.5% Fe2O3.

The concentrate, initially stored on the IMV, will be transferred as slurry to the trans-shipment vessel (TSV), dewatered and loaded into Cape Size export vessels using dry bulk ship-to-ship loading systems and shipped directly to world markets.

The STB project PFS indicates the operation will add to the diversification of the Taranaki economy and generate local, regional and national economic benefits through employment and training, royalties, and taxes. Locally, approximately 300 direct jobs will be created, over 1,600 nationally and $350m spent on operating costs every year.

Since inception TTR has spent more than $65 million on defining the resource potential, environmental assessment of the proposed mining areas and possible impacts of the mining, mine engineering and process design, ore marketing and the processing and shipping operations associated with the resource extraction and iron sands export operations in the South Taranaki Bight.

Trans-Tasman has made a significant investment in, and commitment to, the development of its offshore South Taranaki iron sands mining project. The Company remains committed to securing EPA marine consent to facilitate the financing, construction and commissioning of this technologically advanced tier one world class marine mining operation. The project will deliver substantial economic benefits to New Zealand whilst employing the world’s best practice with sustainable environmental outcomes. 

TTR’s Supreme Court Judgment
30 September 2021

Trans-Tasman Resources Limited’s (TTR) has received the Supreme Court (SC) judgment on its appeal of the Court of Appeal’s 2020 rulings on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) grant of our marine and discharge environmental consents to recover iron sands in the South Taranaki Bight.


STB Project Briefing Note 2020

The low impact sustainable production and export operation in the South Taranaki Bright(STB)  that will deliver a range of significant environmental, social, economic and technological benefits to the region and New Zealand.

Video - Proposed Operation

Legal action aimed at delivering jobs, government revenue streams and regional development investment opportunities

New Zealand controlled and managed Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) has today lodged a Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court (SC) seeking leave to appeal the Court of Appeal (CoA) Judgment on the six points of law upheld in their findings of 3 April 2020.

TTR has succeeded with its appeal to have the High Court’s ruling that the DMC had adopted an adaptive management approach in TTR’s discharge consent overturned.

Trans-Tasman Resources Limited’s (TTR) has succeeded in its appeal to the Court of Appeal (CoA), to have the High Court’s 2018 ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Decision Making Committee (DMC) had adopted an adaptive management approach in TTR’s marine discharge consent overturned.

The CoA’s Judgment on TTR’s appeal and the submitters’ cross-appeals was released on 3 April 2020. The Judgment delivered rulings on fifteen (15) points of law raised by TTR in its appeal and the submitters in their cross-appeals.

The Court of Appeal's Judgment on TTR's appeal and the opponent's cross appeals has been released today.

TTR is now awaiting its legal team’s analysis of and advice on the Court’s rulings and conclusions.

Further comment on the Court of Appeal Judgment will be made once the Board has received that advice.


Previous news

TTR is a New Zealand company, majority owned by New Zealand shareholders, established in 2007 to explore and produce iron ore from vast offshore iron sand deposits.

TTR’s resource is a vanadium-titanomagnetite iron sand deposit lying in water depths from around 20m to 70m, over 20kms out to sea. Iron ore is the key ingredient in manufacturing steel. Vanadium is used in large scale batteries for storing renewable energy as well as steel reinforcing for earthquake strengthening and high-speed tools. Titanium is used in high-tech industries such as in the aviation, medical and dentistry, as well as the widespread use of Titanium Oxide as a pigment.

The modelled economic and social benefits of TTR’s project show employment of approximately 1,700 and an increase in GDP of approximately $150m. The proposed operations provide diversification and additionality to the economies of the Taranaki and Whanganui regions where most of TTR’s project operations, employment and national spend would occur.


The environmental effects of the proposed operation are temporary and apart from the direct area of operations at and around the production vessel, the effects are indistinguishable from the background. Sand extraction and redeposition occurs in a continuous process with rehabilitation, including re-establishment of the marine flora and fauna ecosystems, occurring within weeks to months of redeposition. Marine mammals, fish and seabird populations will not be affected.


The latest South Taranaki Bright Fact Sheet 2019

Commentary on recent media misinformation and exaggerated claims relating to TTR's South Taranaki Brights iron sands project

Read more on TTR's World Class Vanadium Rich Titomagnetite Iron sands Project in STB Update 2019 

On 21 September 2018 TTR lodged a notice to the Court of Appeal to seek leave to appeal the HighCourt judgement of 28 August 2018 regarding our marine consents for the STB iron sands project.

The basis of the TTR appeal is that the EPA did follow a legally correct approach in granting a marine discharge consent to TTR - including a comprehensive set of consent conditions specifically designedto protect the marine environment and existing interests, particularly iwi.

Sediment modelling videos

The following videos were created as part of the modelling exercise carried out by NIWA. Although referenced in the modelling report they were not regarded as pertinent by either TTR’s or the EPA’s independent peer reviewers to the evaluation of the effects of the plume. It is important to note that despite not being included in TTR’s Marine Consent Application, as with all other references, they were always available to anyone requesting them.

In light of a request by some submitters, TTR has included these videos on our website with the hope that the additional perspective will assist some submitters in visually understanding the dynamic nature of the background suspended sediments and the effect that the proposed project will have on the naturally occurring sediment plumes. 

Background SSC only

Background SSC plus mining at site A

Background SSC plus mining at site B