The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has opened
public submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate's proposal to
mine the Chatham Rise seabed for phosphate, as part of its
application for a marine consent.
Chatham Rock, which has spent about $25 million in developing
the concept over five years, wants to suction dredge up to
500mm of sediment from the seabed, in depths up to 450m, and
remove phosphate nodules by screening aboard ship, then
return sediments to the sea.
Submissions are open until July 10 and people have the choice
to be heard at later public hearings.
Chatham Rock already has a mining permit from Government
permitting agency New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals,
covering an 820sq km on the Chatham Rise; part of the total
10,192sq km being sought under the EPA's marine consent.