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.
Clay, decorative pebbles, diatomite, silica, dolomite, limestone, marl, pumice, perlite, sand and zeolite are all quarried in New Zealand. Rock, sand and gravel quarried for the building industry is, collectively, the largest operation in terms of both volume and value. In 2012, NZ$214.6 million-worth of rock, sand and gravel was produced for use as aggregates, or 15,438,839 tonnes.
New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZPAM) is responsible for managing the New Zealand government’s mineral resources – collectively known as the Crown Mineral Estate – on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It advises on policy and operational regulation and promotes investment in the mineral estate.
A permit is required for all Crown owned minerals in New Zealand and for all minerals on the continental shelf. Permits can be applied for through the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website. Crown owned minerals include all gold, silver and petroleum.
Legislation governing minerals extraction includes the Crown Minerals Act 1991, Crown Minerals (Royalties for Minerals Other than Petroleum) Regulations 2013, Continental Shelf Act 1964, the Crown Minerals (Minerals and Coal) Regulations 2007, the Crown Minerals (Minerals fees) Regulations 2006 and the Resource Management Act 1991.
New Zealand is not EITI compliant.
|Mining and Minerals organisations in New Zealand|
|Crown Minerals Group||