The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has refused an application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) for a marine consent to mine phosphorite nodules on the Chatham Rise.
The decision was made by a Decision-making Committee (DMC) appointed by the EPA Board and was released this morning.
This is a seriously negative signal for New Zealand business, CRP managing director Chris Castle said.
“It will make it even harder, if not impossible for companies to attract capital for new projects in New Zealand. As the second application of its kind there have been some improvements in the process and were able to learn a lot and apply those lessons. If we can’t succeed having invested $33 million over seven years, then obviously the government is not serious about economic development.”
“We had a strong level of agreement by scientific and other experts from both sides that the environmental effects were either limited or manageable.”
“Obviously we need to take a bit of time to digest what the decision means and what our next steps will be, the options being an appeal, resubmitting, or walking away,” concluded Castle.