An Australian mining company has reapplied for a resource consent for a mineral sands development on the West Coast, which it contends will earn the West Coast millions but have only a light environmental impact.
TiGa Minerals and Metals wants to do open-cast mining at Barrytown, about 30km north of Greymouth, to extract ilmenite, zircon, gold and garnet, increasingly sought-after minerals used in in hi-tech manufacturing as well as for paint and other materials.
A first application was refused last year largely because of inadequate information on the potential environmental effects and other social hazards of the mine.
Managing director Robert Brand said the company had done a lot more work and consultation over the past year to resolve the issues, and to establish the venture’s commercial and environmental viability.
Brand said the company has also asked for the application to be publicly notified so there would be transparency of information and interested parties could participate.
A report commissioned by TiGa estimated the project would generate more than 130 direct and supporting jobs, $34 million a year in wages and local spending, and when fully operational, $63m a year in exports.
As each part of the site was mined it would be restored to return it to productive farming.
Brand said the venture is estimated to cost $75m, which would probably be raised by a share sale and a stock exchange listing in Australia, and possibly also New Zealand.
He expected the resource consent process to take around six months, and the hope was to start work towards the end of this year and be in production in late 2024 or early 2025.