Government sets out vision for minerals future

Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector.

Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in New Zealand at a community meeting in Blackball on the West Coast.

“Today, in the heart of mining country, I am telling Kiwis they are back in business. No longer will these communities with rich histories intertwined with mining be told they cannot utilise the rich mineral endowments contained in their land,” Mr Jones says.

“New Zealand has suffered from the lack of a clear long-term strategic direction for the development of its minerals estate.

“Today I have launched a proposal for the sector that will do just that - identifying the actions needed to secure and increase minerals supply and their potential for use and export to maximise economic and Crown benefit from our minerals estate.

“My vision is that we change the prevailing mantra about mining to one that doesn’t begin and end with extraction but one that focuses on our mineral needs, economic opportunities, and our ability to deliver on this while benefiting our environment and communities.”

The Draft Minerals Strategy for New Zealand to 2040, which is now open for consultation, proposes producing a critical minerals list for New Zealand and doing a detailed stocktake of the country’s known mineral potential.

“The minerals sector is a small but productive part of New Zealand’s economy, worth $1.03 billion in mineral exports in 2022, providing more than 5000 direct jobs, supporting local businesses, and generating substantial revenue that funds infrastructure, healthcare, and education,” Mr Jones says.

“We are aspirational for the sector, aiming to double mineral exports value to $2b by 2035. With the right direction and settings, mining will continue to boost regional opportunities and jobs, increase our self-sufficiency, and be a critical part of this Government’s export-led focus, especially as we take advantage of the global opportunities for new minerals uses.

“I consider the minerals sector to be critical to the economic prosperity of New Zealand - it has been a transformative agent for our country in the past, and I expect it to play a transforming role into the future.”

Consultation on the draft minerals strategy closes on 31 July 2024.