Seabed mine developer Chatham Rock Phosphate is a step closer
to starting its project, having just filed its draft marine
consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority
Chatham wants to use a suction dredge, in depths up to 425m
off the Chatham Rise, to vacuum up the top 300mm of seabed
sand and pebble-sized phosphate, estimating it can supply up
to 1.5 million tonnes per year.
During the past four years Chatham has spent more than $27
million in shareholders funds on the project and was
considering a private placement to raise more capital,
subject to the company establishing a secondary listing on
the London Stock Exchange's AIM Board.
Chatham managing director Chris Castle, of Wellington, said
the marine consent was the only major licence Chatham now
He said Chatham's environmental impact assessmentformed the
centrepiece of the marine consent application, which will be
considered under the Exclusive Economic Zone environmental
consenting regime, as part of the EEZ and Continental Shelf
(Environmental Effects) legislation, which came into force
''Having done our homework, we know this project stacks up
technically, environmentally and financially,'' Mr Castle
Once the EPA accepted Chatham's application as complete, Mr
Castle said information in the environmental impact
assessment would be publicly available, submissions would be
taken, and there would be public hearings in coming months.
Chatham expects an EPA decision by November.