Straterra has cautiously welcomed the government’s resource strategy that recognises the importance of minerals to our society and shows a willingness to work with the sector to achieve positive outcomes for our country.
“While the strategy does not rescind support for the No New Mines on Conservation Land proposition, it does set a positive context for assessing that and other initiatives this government is promoting,” says Straterra CEO Chris Baker.
“The introductory sections of the document tell a considered story about the importance of minerals and mining to maintaining our standard of living, and to the economy.
“As the strategy says, the sector contributes significantly to the well-being of New Zealand: It provides jobs, income, and the resources we need to power and build our economy.
“We support the Government in setting this information out for the public. Modern mining in New Zealand, and many other jurisdictions, is conducted responsibly and to appropriately high standards.
“That is as it should be, but not as many would have the public believe – this Resource Strategy is a positive contribution for those who want a balanced and informed debate.
“Minerals and aggregates are vital to the way we live – in homes, food production, transport and infrastructure, at work and play.
“The strategy emphasises the growing demand for clean-tech minerals and the growing role of minerals as we move to a lower carbon economy.
“New Zealand has the potential to supply some of these, and the responsibility to make use of the resources we have, in a global economy where demand for resources will only increase.
“Mining is among the highest productivity and highest average wage industries in the country. Few industries, if any, can replace mining in terms of the economic contribution in the places mining occurs such as the West Coast.
“That said, the resource sector faces a number of reforms, the objective of which is to improve environmental outcomes.
“The reality is that many aspects of these reforms will simply result in reduced or zero investment.
“We hope that this Resource Strategy goes some way to influencing the balance that is required in these reforms, to get better environmental outcomes and to attract more responsible investment,” says Baker.
This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Quarrying and Mining magazine.