19 April 2013
Undersea mining developer Chatham Rock Phosphate expects to be the first minerals company to have an environmental consent application considered under the Exclusive Economic Zone legislation.
Chief executive Chris Castle said today he is delighted the start date for the EEZ Act had been confirmed as June, several months earlier than expected.
“We’re in the process of finalising our environmental consent application and we’ve been asking the government who will be in a position to consider it.
“We congratulate the government, and in particular Environment Minister Amy Adams, for ensuring there is a clear, robust pathway in place so all interested parties can review the work we’ve done and satisfy themselves that our project will meet the environmental tests of the EEZ Act. CRP believes the new law provides the framework to allow responsible development of the ocean’s resources.”
Minister Adams confirmed mining activities such as those planned by CRP will be a discretionary activity, subject to suitable scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Authority.
“We are familiar with what is expected and are planning our application on that basis. Our application is close to finalisation and as soon as we are ready we will be submitting it so anyone with an interest can see the work we’ve done.
“We expect to work through the submission and hearing process during the second half of 2013 with an aim to receiving approval by the end of this year.
“That will enable Boskalis, our mining contract partner, to be able to commit to the significant capital required to develop the necessary equipment and fit out the mining ship.”
Mr Castle said receiving timing confirmation around the introduction of the EEZ only a day after confirmation CRP’s mining licence application was under active consideration was the icing on the cake of a very good week.
Chris Castle – +64 21 55 81 85 or firstname.lastname@example.org