Would-be seabed miner Chatham Rock Phosphate is pushing ahead
with plans to list on London's mining-friendly AIM stock
exchange, while waiting for approvals from the Environmental
Protection Authority (EPA).
Chatham is listed on the alternative New Zealand stock
exchange and gave formal notice on Friday of its intention to
list on AIM, the Alternate Investment Market of the London
Chatham has spent about $25 million to date in research and
development to have a contractor suction-dredge phosphate
chips off the Chatham Rise seafloor, in about 400m of water.
It proposes to replace all imported phosphate by eventually
mining 1.5 tonnes a year.
Chatham's announcement yesterday did not contain detail of
how much it hoped to raise, but said its expected admission
date to AIM was mid-July.
The EPA's maiden decision last month knocked back Trans
Tasman Resource's plans to mine iron sand from the seabed off
Taranaki, which raised misgivings in the resource sector
about future offshore investment in New Zealand projects.
Chatham has its permit to mine the Chatham Rise, but must
wait about four to five months to see if it gets marine
consent from the EPA for the project.
On the industry disappointment over Trans Tasman not getting
its marine consent, Chatham chief executive Chris Castle said
at the time its application could not be compared with Trans
He remained ''very confident'' Chatham had submitted a
''robust and comprehensive'' EPA application which would
''meet the legal tests'' under the relevant legislation.
''It is for a different mineral, in a very different marine
environment and using different extraction methods and will
be considered by a different decision-making committee [of
the EPA],'' Mr Castle said.
In June last year Chatham raised a disappointing $1.6 million
of $4 million sought, but subsequently raised a further $2.1
million in placements and shareholder rights issue.
For the past two financial years ended March, Chatham spent
more than $11 million on operating activities and booked
losses of $1.42 million for each financial year.