Seabed mining approved in New Zealand despite environmentalists’ concerns

seabed mining approved
The International Seabed Authority, located in Jamaica and created under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, has already issued 26 exploration licences to governments and companies. Image courtesy of Nautilus Minerals.


“New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority approved Trans-Tasman Resources’ application to mine iron sands from the seabed of South Taranaki Bight, located 22 kilometres to 36 kilometres offshore from Patea.

The approval means that Trans-Tasman is now allowed to recover resources from the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. In detail, the company wants to dig up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year, for 35 years, to get five million tonnes of iron ore per year. The South Taranaki Bight has reported JORC iron sand mineral resources of 1,698Mt at 11.16% Fe2O3 for the Mine Area and adjacent Kupe Blocks at a 3.5% Davis Tube Recovery cutoff and a further 2,137Mt at 9.66% Fe2O3 for Stage 2 Block mine areas.”

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