Certainty for Conservation and Mining

  • Max Bradford

The Crown Minerals Amendment no. 3 Bill passed yesterday provides certainty for mining and conservation interests on protected land, Energy Minister Max Bradford said.

"The debate over the acceptability of mining in conservation land is long standing and strong views are held on both sides of the argument," Mr Bradford said.

The bill closes certain protected areas to all mining activities in order to provide greater protection and recognise the conservation values of those areas.

"For the miners, the passage of the bill has removed the uncertainty that has hung over the mining industry since the Protected Areas (Prohibition on Mining) Bill was introduced in 1990," Mr Bradford said.

The Crown Minerals Amendment no. 3 Bill seeks to balance competing interests while providing greater protection for areas such as:

National Parks
wilderness areas
nature reserves
marine reserves
scientific reserves, wildlife sanctuaries
offshore DOC islands in the Hauraki Gulf
ecological areas in the Coromandel National Park
conservation land on the Coromandel Peninsula north of SHW25a
internal waters of the Coromandel Peninsula.
In very limited circumstances the Minister of Conservation may grant access to the Crown's minerals on protected land, but only for: emergency exits or service shafts of underground mines; gold fossicking; demonstration of historic mining methods; or when the operation does not result in stripping vegetation over an area exceeding 16 square metres or any permanent impact on the land.