Trans-Tasman Resources' ("TTR") application to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki coast looks set to become the first application to progress to a consent hearing under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 ("Act").  While Chatham Rock Phosphate was the first company to lodge an application under the Act, that application was later withdrawn.

TTR plans to mine iron sands approximately 30 kilometres off the South Taranaki coast.  Its consent application has been a controversial topic and vigorous opposition from strong advocate groups is expected.

TTR has stated that it will be able to export approximately five million tonnes of concentrate iron ore a year from the resource, which is expected to buoy the New Zealand economy.   In addition, it is estimated that the project will create 250 new jobs, contribute approximately $302 million to GDP, and generate tax and royalties of approximately $54 million.

TTR's application has been publicly notified by the Environmental Protection Authority, with submissions closing on 19 December 2013.  A hearing is expected by early March next year.