By knowing more about minerals distribution on land and on the seafloor, NZ's prospectivity can be said to increase. We encourage these surveys to be extended further afield.

In recent years the Government has carried out aerial geophysical surveys of minerals prospectivity in Northland and Westland. This is a welcome development. Armed with more information of this sort, NZ's attractiveness for investment will increase. Work being done by Land Information NZ towards a geospatial strategy will lead to improvements in the quality of information on a wide range of topics, and accessibility to users.

Research is also warranted on the effects of mining on the environment, and how they can be managed; into technologies for extracting resources cost-effectively and safely; and into assessments of quality of aggregates for roading, cement and concrete. These priorities are reflected in a draft NZ Minerals Research Strategy prepared by Straterra in consultation with industry, research and government stakeholders. Over time such projects have received funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and we hope and trust that such funding will continue to be provided.

The National Science Challenge entitled “Sustainable Seas” is an opportunity to inject new funding into minerals discoveries in New Zealand’s broader marine jurisdiction. In that context, it would be helpful if the moratorium under the Crown Minerals Act 1991 on new minerals activities in the Kermadecs were removed to provide alignment of government policy. You can find about more about this project here.