13 June, 2012
Minerals exploration will lift Northland economy
New investment in minerals exploration and development will invigorate Northland’s economy, Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley says.
The Ministry of Economic Development opened the Northland 2012 competitive tender to manage competitive interest in exploring for metallic minerals today.
“The tender opens the door for us to realise the significant potential for New Zealand to grow the economic contribution made by minerals,” Mr Heatley said.
“Northland’s mineral wealth means new jobs and new wealth for Northland. It’s a really big opportunity for the region, and for New Zealand.
“The 2011 Northland aeromagnetic data survey which I released last month considerably enhances the prospect of competitive interest in minerals exploration,” he said.
“The focus now is on better understanding the metallic minerals potential of the area – it will be under exploration permits that companies will determine what development may be commercially viable.
“The Government is determined that growth from minerals development happens, but in a manner that is responsible, careful and consistent with the wider values we hold as a nation,” the Minister said.
The Government is currently reviewing the Crown Minerals Act regime, which governs management of the Crown minerals estate, including gold and other metal resources in New Zealand.
“The Government’s work programme is currently focused on ensuring the regulatory regime for minerals development is best international practice.
“I expect to see the new regime in place by the end of the year. The aim is clear – New Zealand will have an updated robust piece of legislation in place that will ensure safe and responsible development of our resources,” Mr Heatley said.
Bids received on the Northland tender by 7 December 2012 will be evaluated by a government evaluation panel.
Five-year exploration permits will be awarded to successful bidders in early April 2013.
Information on the Northland 2012 competitive tender is available at www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms/minerals/competitive-tender.