Taranaki Regional Council today released a new report on sensitive habitats and threatened species in the Taranaki coastal marine area.
According to KASM, the report shows plenty of marine life in the South Tarankai Bight in the area a seabed mining company wants to dig up.
The report, commissioned by the Taranaki Regional Council and prepared by the Cawthron Institute, shows there are likely to be a good number of important habitats in and around the area.
Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) recently lodged a Marine Consent application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the proposed South Taranaki Bight (STB) iron sands mining project.
The application covers an area of 65.76 km2, between 22 and 36 kilometers off the west coastline of South Taranaki within New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
TTR plan calls for the extraction of up to 50 million tonnes of iron sand each year, separating titaniferous ore from the sediment on a processing vessel and returning approximately 90 per cent of the sand to the sea bed in a controlled process into previously mined areas.
The head of Trans Tasman Resources, Alan Eggars, last week described the mining site out in the Bight as “a vast expanse of sand”.
“The miners say this area is a ‘virtual desert,’ yet here we have scientists telling us quite the opposite,” said KASM chairperson Phil McCabe.
Trans Tasman Resources applied for a marine licence in 2013 to mine this area, but was turned down by the EPA.