More and more Australian mining companies are chasing our epithermal gold and silver resources in areas of the North Island, especially around Rotorua, Taupo, and the Coromandel Peninsula.
This was made easier in 2013 when NZ Petroleum & Minerals opened a tender for metallic mineral exploration permits over 8040 square kilometres of our Central Volcanic Zone, which is known to contain epithermal style gold-silver mineralisation in the shallow parts of extinct geothermal systems in the western side zone (evident from aeromagnetic surveying by Glass Earth Gold in 2005).
The latest Aussie miner to land here is Silver City Minerals (SCI), which was set up in May 2008 to specifically explore in the Broken Hill district where it controls about 1200 square kilometres of exploration tenure. Like many companies facing the Aussie mining recession, SCI moved offshore and acquired mineral exploration tenements near Rotorua, in May 2014.
The five-year permit to explore for gold, silver and other metallic minerals covers 33 square kilometres south of Kawerau and 35 kilometres east of the city of Rotorua. As a ‘Tier 1’ permit that requires a minimum investment of $1.25 million over the course of exploration.
Last year SCI carried out geophysical surveys on the target area. It also acquired Exploration Permit 56212 (Taupo 1) for a period of five years, through the same competitive tender process, and prospecting permit 56147 (Taupo 2) for a period of two years (adjacent to permit 56212). The total area covered by the tenure is about 94 square kilometres.
Energy and Resources Minister, Simon Bridges, says: “Silver City is an experienced precious metals exploration company from Australia. They will be investing at least $1.25 million exploring in the central North Island over the next five years and this project has the real potential to create jobs, and benefit the local and national economy over the longer term.
“It is a great result to see a new entrant come into our market at a time when the price of gold and other mineral commodities is low, investors are understandably risk averse, and companies are tightening up their existing operations.”