Press Release – Chatham Rock Phosphate
Chatham Rock Phosphate’s submission on the new Exclusive Economic Zone Bill will provide the Local Government and Environment Select Committee with an early example to consider when evaluating the proposed new legislation.2 February 2012
Chatham Rock Phosphate may be one of first affected by new EEZ legislation
Chatham Rock Phosphate’s submission on the new Exclusive Economic Zone Bill will provide the Local Government and Environment Select Committee with an early example to consider when evaluating the proposed new legislation.
CRP is a New Zealand owned and operated company established to explore and extract this country’s only significant rock phosphate resource, located on the seabed in sandy silt 400 metres below the surface and 450 km east of Christchurch on the Chatham Rise.
“We anticipate our company will be one of the first to operate under the new legislation as we intend to apply for a mining licence during 2012,” managing director Chris Castle said today.
Mr Castle said the CRP submission is designed to supplement those provided by a range of interested parties who have commented on technical matters contained in the Bill.
“We want to give the select Committee an insight into how companies such as ours will be affected by the legislation and how we are practically planning to manage our environmental responsibilities.”
He said CRP welcomed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill because it provides a certain framework for companies to operate. He also noted the long delay in the grant of a prospecting licence to CRP related to the difficulty the existing regime faced in managing environmental issues.
“We are acutely aware of our duty to protect the environment as much as possible, while developing New Zealand’s natural resources. Our business focus seeks to achieve sustainable development, while continuing to safeguard the environment.”
Mr Castle said CRP aimed to provide the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry for the Environment and New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals with the opportunity to consider facets of the proposed regime as a “live” case study.
The submission provides an update on the progress made by the company over the past two years, the environmental, economic and market benefits of the project and comments briefly on some areas of the Bill of specific interest to CRP.
Mr Castle said he was pleased the Bill paid heed to the balance between environmental considerations.
“Even within an environmental context there are offsets such as between the environmental benefits of our product and any impacts caused by the extraction of rock nodules.
“Chatham Rock Phosphate can offer benefits that include a reduced carbon footprint through much lower transport costs, fewer run-off effects on farmland when using it as a direct-application product and the low cadmium content of the product.”