New minerals exploration permits awarded today will help create jobs and lift the Northland economy, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges says.
Five permits have been offered to three companies – Tai Tokerau Minerals Limited, Waimatenui Exploration Limited and De Grey Mining Limited – as a result of the Northland 2012 tender which sought interest in exploring for metallic minerals in the region.
“This presents an exciting opportunity for Northland and for New Zealand. There is significant potential for the country to grow the economic contribution made by minerals,” says Mr Bridges.
“The sector already contributes around $20 million in royalties to government each year, and contributes over $1.1 billion to the economy. The Government wants to see regions like Northland reap the benefits, directly and indirectly, of minerals development.
“But this is not about exploration and development at any cost. This is why the Government has recently put in place a new, world-class regulatory regime for the responsible management of the country’s mineral resources,” Mr Bridges says.
The Northland 2012 tender process began in March last year with consultation with iwi and local authorities, and the competitive tender closed in December. Bids were evaluated by an expert panel from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals. The five-year permits allow exploration to be undertaken in defined areas of Northland.