Find Mining expertise in New Zealand

New Zealand is a mineral rich country with a large variety of mineral deposits. The country is particularly well known for its production of gold and coal. More recently there has been interest in New Zealand’s iron sands (sand with a high iron content that can be extracted to make steel).

Solid Energy is the state-owned mining company, specialising in coal mining. It is responsible for three-quarters of national production, with a number of smaller private coal mining companies producing the remainder. Other prominent mining companies operating in New Zealand include OceanaGold, Blue Pacific Minerals and Glass Earth.

Total coal production in 2012 was 4,926,242 tonnes.

Coal production has been growing year-on-year for the last few years, mainly due to the restoration of production levels at Solid Energy’s two bitumous mines, Stockton and Spring Creek, which had fallen in 2009, due to industrial action and reduced export orders resulting from the global financial crisis. Production is centred in the Waikato, on the west coast and in Southland.

More than half of national production comes from two large opencast operations at Rotowaro and Stockton.

Total gold production in 2012 was 10,164.36 kg; total silver production was 5,629.73 kg; and total ironsand production 2,394,863.79 tonnes.

New Zealand’s Otago and west coast gold is purest (93–98% gold, with 2-7% silver or silver and mercury), while on the Coromandel Peninsula it occurs as a gold–silver alloy called electrum (typically 65% gold and 35% silver). Silver mainly occurs in the same locations as gold on Coromandel Peninsula.

In 2011, the minerals sector employed 6,466 people, or 0.3% of New Zealand’s workforce. The sector is the most productive in the country’s economy, generating US$333 per hour worked, compared to the New Zealand average of $48 per hour worked. Workers are paid on average $105,000 per annum, which is twice the New Zealand average.

Mining and Minerals organisations in New Zealand
Crown Minerals Group