Chatham Rock Considers Reapplying for Marine Consent

Chatham Rock Phosphate is considering reapplying for a marine consent to mine phosphate nodules on the Chatham Rise seabed, managing director Chris Castle said today.

We have decided an appeal is a pointless exercise. Assuming we win on points of law, we would still need to go back before the same decision-making committee (DMC) who collectively overlooked the key merits of our project, appeared to misunderstand important evidence and submissions and selectively ignored CRP’s information to reach a ‘NO’ decision,” said Castle.

Although they accepted the findings of scientific experts which showed negligible effects in areas such as fish, seabirds and mammals, why would we expect them to look at the other issues any differently the second time around? While the DMC’s views as to the level of information and certainty that was required to satisfy them were wildly unrealistic and at odds with the intent of the EEZ Act, the reality is that they could simply apply that reasoning again to reach a conclusion that they are unlikely to have an open mind about.”

“We have not committed to reapplying at this stage as we need to have confidence the process and the law is workable and the decision makers are technically competent.”

“However, we have no intentions of giving up. This project is too important for New Zealand, as well as our shareholders who have already invested $33 million in this project,” said Castle.