New Zealand is a mineral rich country, with a large variety of mineral deposits. Historically we are best known for our production of gold and coal.
Offshore potential includes iron sands, seafloor gold and base metals, phosphate and other minerals. Their potential value may eventually be found to exceed that of onshore resources.
Given the size of this potential, the government regards the environmentally responsible development of New Zealand's mineral resources as important to the economy.
Further information on New Zealand's mineral sector and minerals permits is available on the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website.
A review of the entire Crown-minerals management regime is underway. It will look at the Crown Minerals Act 1991 and associated minerals programmes and regulations as a single package.
In 2010, the government sought the country’s feedback on a range of proposals related to areas listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown minerals Act 1991.
In November 2010, 29 men tragically lost their lives at the Pike River coal mine, resulting in the closure of the mine. The Pike River coalfield on the West Coast is situated approximately 50 kilometres north-east of Greymouth.