MINER'S MONTHLY NOVEMBER 2021
Annual general meeting held held in Reefton
Minerals West Coast's annual general meeting held in Reefton at the end of October gave members a chance to review the annual report and financial statements, elect representatives to the board, and get an update on recent and upcoming activities of Minerals West Coast. The meeting itself was followed by two presentations: the first from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, the second from MinEx.
The election of trustees and appointments/reappointments to the board means Minerals West Coast's board now consists of the following elected representatives:
The financial statements and annual report, along with the minutes of the AGM, will be circulated directly to Minerals West Coast’s members.
Minerals West Coast wishes to once again thank CablePrice for its sponsorship of the evening's dinner and drinks.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals update
Following the end of the formal annual general meeting, New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals joined the meeting via a Zoom link to discuss efforts the agency (which operates within the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment). The staff who joined via video link included:
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals explained (as is shown in the below chart) that there was a significant increase in applications for new permits about May-June 2020 due largely to heightened gold prices through the Covid-19 pandemic unfolding, and increased interest in gold mining as a result.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff explained that of its team of seven minerals advisors (which has recently grown to nine with the recruitment of two new staff) one advisor will be responsible for processing about 8-10 applications at once, and the remainder of applications will stay unassigned until there is an advisor free to process them. About the time of the meeting there were 200 unassigned permits in the queue, the majority of which were tier 2 exploration permits.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff said of the 200 unassigned applications, all have received an initial assessment and been deemed "complete" before being added to the queue. During this initial stage of assessment, some permits are given priority as "urgent", or added to the queue as unassigned applications until there is an advisor free to process them.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff said (as can be seen above) while processing performance has improved in recent months, with increased output on a quarterly basis, it hasn't been enough to clear the entire backlog in the queue due to the number of applications coming in.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff credited the increased productivity to some measures it has taken within the agency, the recruitment of new staff, and better guidance to (and communications with) permit applicants and permit holders.
One piece of communication New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals recently issued was a list of common mistakes for permit applicants, which is included below:
Other initiatives New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals will be trialing in the near future include an accelerated approach to straightforward applications - namely complete, with all the information, and likely to be granted, to get such applications through the system as quickly as possible.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals said the combination of different measures taken have together increased performance, and the agency will continue to identify and implement measures to increase efficiency, but that there are no silver bullets.
MinEx on impact on alluvial mines and quarries coming into mining regulations
Following the presentation from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, MinEx chief executive, Wayne Scott, addressed those attending to explain what changes there will be for alluvial mines and quarries as a result of such operations now being included in the Health and Safety at Work Act's mining and quarrying regulations - until now they have been exempt.
These changes will likely be implemented in February 2022, with a two year transition period. A summary is shown below, along with the new definition of a principal hazard, and the impacts on quarries and alluvial gold operations.
Wayne Scott explained one of the most significant changes will be that all siteswill be required to have a health and safety management system.
WorkSafe will be running information workshops around the country in 2022, and MinEx will develop templates, examples, and guidance for sites as they move to operating under the new requirements.
Wayne Scott invited all those who are not yet in the MinEx database or on the mailing system to join via MinEx's website - www.minex.org.nz
Submission lodged on review of freshwater policies
Earthworks in wetlands - such as mining - were classified as prohibited activities under the Resource Management Act as a result of the government's freshwater reforms.
While this has not yet changed, the government is in the process of reviewing those reforms to consider creating a consenting pathway for earthworks in wetlands - including for resource extraction, but also extending to urban development and infrastructure - provided there is no net loss for wetlands overall.
Last month, the government received submissions after a round of policy consultation on the issue.
Minerals West Coast's submission can be found in full below:
Minerals West Coast launches Coal in New Zealand campaign
In an effort to raise awareness about the role of coal in New Zealand now and in years to come, Minerals West Coast has this month launched a series of online videos and a dedicated website "Coal in New Zealand" in a bid to increase the wider New Zealand public's understanding of coal use in New Zealand, and why it is not easily replaced. These videos can be seen below, and on the www.coal.kiwi website.
Patrick Phelps and Bryan Crump talk tourism and mining for last radio slot of the year
For his fourth and final ten-weekly slot on RNZ Nights with Bryan Crump, Minerals West Coast's manager, Patrick Phelps, had a look at whether the idea the West Coast should look to tourism instead of mining as way of making a living actually stands up to much scrutiny.
The full interview can be found below:
FINAL RSVP FOR AGM AND CABLEPRICE DINNER AND DRINKS THURSDAY 28TH OCTOBER
Minerals West Coast’s annual general meeting is just over a week away – if you are planning to attend but simply haven’t had time to RSVP yet, please do so before midday on Friday the 22nd of October.
CablePrice is generously sponsoring dinner and drinks for Minerals West Coast members attending the AGM next Thursday.
The AGM will start at 4:00pm on Thursday the 28th of October at the Reefton St John’s Centre on Smith Street (north of Little Biddy’s Gin outlet).
PROGRAMME FOR 28TH OCTOBER
CablePrice’s generous sponsorship has allowed Minerals West Coast to provide its members dinner and drinks free of charge – please RSVP no later than midday on Friday the 23rd of October to ensure you will be seated, fed, and watered at the venue on the night.
Minerals West Coast wishes to thank CablePrice for the generous support of this event.
If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Phelps on 021 238 6846 OR email@example.com
RSVP FOR AGM DINNER 28TH OCTOBER
Minerals West Coast is holding its annual general meeting in the Reefton St John's Smith Street facilities on the Thursday the 28th of October. The AGM will start about 4:00pm.
As well as the AGM, which will run from 4:00pm to 5:00pm, there will be speakers (joining in person or remotely depending on their ability to travel) giving presentations to attendants from 5:00pm onward before moving to Wilson's Hotel and Cafe on Broadway for dinner and drinks from 6:00pm onward.
Use the forms below to RSVP for the AGM and dinner and drinks respectively.
Each attendant will need to pay for their own meals and drinks, but Minerals West Coast needs RSVPs to ensure Wilson's will have enough capacity for all those who wish to attend.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please email Patrick Phelps on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 021 238 6846.
Minerals West Coast looks forward to seeing you there.
MINER'S MONTHLY OCTOBER 2021
MINERALS WEST COAST AND WEST COAST COMMERCIAL GOLDMINERS' ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
Minerals West Coast’s annual general meeting will be held in Reefton on Thursday the 28th of October, starting at 4pm at St John’s Reefton, on Smith Street.
The annual general meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual general meeting of the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association.
Among other matters to address at the meeting will be the presentation to members of annual reports and financial statements, the appointment of trustees and election of chairperson, and with regard to the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association, a final decision on whether or not to amalgamate with Minerals West Coast, subject to the support of members.
After the annual general meeting, depending on travel restrictions and other Covid-19 related issues, there may be two presentations to attendants. The first from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff, to discuss steps being taken to address the permit applications queue.
The second presentation will be from MinEx chief executive, Wayne Scoot, the national health and safety council for the mining and quarrying sectors. Wayne will explain changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act Mining and Quarrying Regulations, which are likely to take affect near the end of this year.
At 6pm the presentations will end and there will be dinner and drinks at Wilson’s bar and restaurant.
Please email Patrick Phelps on email@example.com to RSVP for dinner and drinks so Minerals West Coast can do the venue the courtesy of making a booking.
If not, Minerals West Coast makes no promises will be you will be seated or fed.
MINERALS WEST COAST AND WEST COAST COMMERCIAL GOLDMINERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING WEDNESDAY 6TH OF OCTOBER
A meeting is being held for members of Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association on Wednesday the 6th of October at 6:30pm at the Paroa Hotel.
Among other matters arising, there will be further opportunity for members to discuss the proposed amalgamation of Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association as one entity – Minerals West Coast.
This follows a meeting held in Hokitika in July in which all in attendance expressed unanimous support for the amalgamation.
In line with the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association’s constitution, and in the spirit of ensuring all parties concerned have had ample opportunity to share their views on the amalgamation, the meeting held on the 6th of October will give all in attendance the chance to discuss the matter further.
Subject to the support of the membership, the amalgamation will be finalised at this year’s annual general meetings of the organisations, which will be held in Reefton on the 28th of October.
The West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association's full constitution is available here and the deed of Minerals West Coast available here.
NEW ZEALAND PETROLEUM AND MINERALS TAKES ON MORE STAFF TO ADDRESS PERMIT APPLICATION QUEUE
Minerals West Coast is continuing to work with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals on addressing the mining industry’s concerns with the processing of permit applications and other permissions under the Crown Minerals Act.
Minerals West Coast understands that New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is taking steps to address the backlog of permit applications in the queue. This includes filling two vacancies within the organisation’s permitting team with the recent recruitment of two new minerals advisors, and in addition the engagement of a temporary contractor to help with reducing the number permits waiting in the queue.
Minerals West Coast is working with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff on the reestablishment of processing performance reports, to give the industry greater visibility and clarity of New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals’ workload and how quickly permits are being processed relative to how many are lodged in a given period.
CONSULTATION ON FRESHWATER POLICY MAY ALLOW CONSENTS TO BE GRANTED FOR EARTHWORKS IN WETLANDS
The government, through the Ministry for the Environment, is consulting on changing regulations put in place in the course of its freshwater law changes that prohibited earthworks in wetlands.
This effectively made mining, quarrying, and earthworks for construction and infrastructure impossible under the laws as written.
The consultation document, ‘Managing our wetlands’, sets out proposals to:
Minerals West Coast will be submitting on this consultation – the 17-page consultation, while no contender for the Whitcoulls’ top ten, is available here.
If you have any points you think Minerals West Coast should raise in its submission, please contact Patrick Phelps on either 021 238 6846, or firstname.lastname@example.org
MINING MATTERS #11: KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON
Through winter in 2021 New Zealand's experienced power cuts and coal-fired electricity generation that’s been up on lower levels in recent years.
For instance, on 2016, New Zealand burned only 228,179 tonnes of coal for electricity generation, but in 2020, 798,723 tonnes.
In Mining matters #11, Minerals West Coast’s manager, Patrick Phelps, takes a look at coal use in New Zealand’s electricity sector.
MINERALS WEST COAST AND WEST COAST COMMERCIAL GOLDMINERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING
Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association will be meeting on Wednesday the 6th of October as part of the process of amalgamating Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association.
At the last meeting all those in attendance were in favour of amalgamation, which will result in the two entities becoming one organisation - Minerals West Coast - and a consolidation of assets and working as one entity.
Members will have further opportunity to put their views forward on the amalgamation, which subject to the support of members will be finalised this year at Minerals West Coast's and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association's joint annual general meetings.
The upcoming meeting will be held in the side room of the Paroa Hotel on Wednesday the 6th of October at 6:30pm.
If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Patrick Phelps on 021 238 6846, or email@example.com
MINERALS WEST COAST FORUM DELAYED
Minerals West Coast has decided to postpone its annual forum, initially scheduled for late October 2021, until early 2022.
Last year's forum was held at alert level 2 with a limit of 100 attendants. Unfortunately, due to the new meaning of alert level 2, events like the Minerals West Coast forum can have no more than 50 people in attendance - at this limit, such a forum is not feasible.
At this stage it is difficult to know if or when New Zealand will return to alert level 1, and as such, Minerals West Coast has decided it would be prudent to postpone the forum until early next year - most likely late February or early March.
Once new forum dates have been selected with some degree of confidence they won't need to be shifted, members and the wider industry will be notified, and tickets will be made available.
For Minerals West Coast members, an annual general meeting will still be held on the 28th of October, with some speakers, a social gathering, and a field trip of some description. Members will be notified once this itinerary has been prepared.
If you have any questions in the mean time, please get in touch with Minerals West Coast's manager, Patrick Phelps, via phone (021 238 6846) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets available for Minerals West Coast 2021 forum
Minerals West Coast's 2021 forum has been set in for Thursday the 28th of October, and will be held in Reefton.
Minerals West Coast's annual general meeting will also be held on the same day, prior to the forum starting.
The line up for the 2021 Forum: Resurgence, ticket prices, and registration details, can all be found on the forum page - click the button below to see for yourself.
Minerals West Coast and West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association amalgamation
Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association will need to meet at least once more prior to the joint AGM to be held in Reefton this year in conjunction with Minerals West Coast's annual forum.
This is to ratify the amalgamation of Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association as one entity.
The last meeting was held in Hokitika in July, with all attendees voting in support of the merger. In line with the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association's constitution, another meeting will be held prior to finalising the amalgamation at the AGM in Reefton this year.
This meeting will be held once the country moves to Covid-19 alert level 2, and will be held in Greymouth. Once the time and location for this meeting have been confirmed, members will be notified.
Mining at Covid-19 alert level 3
With KFC and McDonald's back operating, so are many businesses in New Zealand outside Auckland and Wellington.
The government recommends that staff within an organisation who can continue to work from home should do so.
For those who physically need to be at their work to do it, the following advice is given for working and running a business at alert level three:
Vaccination bookings on the West Coast
If you've been thinking about booking an appointment for your Covid-19 jab, but haven't yet, you can either book online or over the phone.
The phone number is 0800 28 29 26, and operators are available to take your call any time from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
If the vaccination centre closest to you doesn't have any vacancies any time soon, ask the operator whether there are any other centres nearby with vacancies at an earlier time - this may mean having to take more time out of your day, but it is an option.
Rumour has it, it takes only five minutes to book online if you don't want to deal with waiting on the phone.
Minerals West Coast and New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals Working together to address permit application backlog
Minerals West Coast met with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff in mid-August to discuss time delays in the processing of applications for exploration and mining permits under the Crown Minerals Act.
In mid-August Minerals West Coast's chairwoman, Glenys Perkins, and manager, Patrick Phelps, met with NZP&M staff in Wellington.
Minerals West Coast understands that in line with new protocols of not accepting applications if they are incomplete, about a third of permit applications are being rejected.
This is to ensure that those applications that lodged with the complete set of information required can get the full attention of staff, whereas incomplete applications need to be rewritten and resubmitted. If applications are rejected, application fees are refunded to the applicant.
Minerals West Coast intends to work with NZP&M to reestablish performance reporting, which was carried out on a quarterly basis throughout 2016 and 2017.
This involves NZP&M publishing permissions processing reports four times a year, outlining the number of applications received in a three month period, and the percentage of those applications processed within the target time frames, shown below.
Subject to alert level restrictions, NZP&M will be speaking to these issues and other matters at the 2021 forum in October.
Minerals West Coast manager talks coal supply and demand with Bryan Crump
About the 10th of August the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change published its report labelled a "code red to humanity" and stressed all countries, big and small, rich and poor, need to drastically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
About the same time, in New Zealand, there were power cuts around the country on the coldest night of the year, with unprecedented demand for electricity. The next morning, the same energy and resources minister who wants 100% renewable electricity by 2030 wanted to know why 51% Crown-owned Genesis Energy hadn't burnt more coal to keep the lights on.
All this and more was the focus of the latest conversation between Minerals West Coast's manager, Patrick Phelps, and host of RNZ Nights, Bryan Crump. The full interview is available below.
MINERS' MONTHLY JULY/AUGUST
SAVE THE DATE FOR MINERALS WEST COAST FORUM 2021
Minerals West Coast is proud to announce a date has been set for its annual forum, to be held in Reefton on Thursday the 21st of October, along with its annual general meeting.
Once the full line-up of speakers has been finalised, along with a few other details, tickets will be made available for purchase for those wishing to attend.
Minerals West Coast is looking forward to hosting another successful forum on the back of last year's Reefton event.
Subject to interest, a field trip to a mine within the Reefton area may be organised for Friday the 22nd of October.
More information will be available within the coming weeks.
MINERALS WEST COAST WORKING WITH NEW ZEALAND PETROLEUM AND MINERALS TO ADDRESS PERMIT PROCESSING
Minerals West Coast will be meeting with staff from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals to address concerns over the speed of permit processing for those working in the minerals sector, such as miners and explorers.
In July, Minerals West Coast wrote to New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals raising concerns with the department's processing of permits and the impact it is having on the mining sector. New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff have since spoken with Minerals West Coast at the most recent trust meeting (held in August) to explain some of the issues.
Another meeting will be held when Minerals West Coast representatives meet with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals staff in Wellington this month. If you have any concerns you would like raised at this meeting, or solutions, please contact Minerals West Coast's manager, Patrick Phelps, so that these matters can be put in front of the officials.
Patrick can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone on 021 238 6846.
MINERALS WEST COAST AND WEST COAST COMMERCIAL GOLDMINERS' ASSOCIATION AMALGAMATION PROGRESSES
In mid-July a meeting was held in mid-July to confirm and progress the merger of Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association. All those in attendance from both organisations (which have many common members) supported the two groups becoming one, with the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association amalgamating into Minerals West Coast.
In line with the constitution of the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association constitution, another meeting will be held on between now and the annual general meeting of both groups in October when the merger will be finalised, subject to the approval of each respective groups' membership.
MINERALS WEST COAST AND WEST COAST COMMERCIAL GOLD MINERS' ASSOCIATION AMALGAMATION MEETING
This is a reminder to members of both Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association of the meeting being held this Wednesday (14th of May) at the Hokitika RSA (22 Sewell Street) regarding the amalgamation of Minerals West Coast and the West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association.
This amalgamation was discussed and agreed to in principle at last year's annual general meetings of both organisations in Reefton (3rd September, 2020).
This meeting is to discuss the details of the amalgamation, and talk through any matters members wish to raise.
The West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association's constitution can be found here. The constitution of Minerals West Coast Trust can be found here.
If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Patrick Phelps on either 021 238 6846, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Time: Meeting will start at 7:00pm, running through till 8:00pm.
Location: Westland RSA, 22 Sewell Street, Hokitika.
MINERS' MONTHLY: JUNE 2021
Echo and Federation Mining field trip
A field trip this month (June) allowed attendants to get a close up look at operations at Reefton's Echo coal mine, and Federation Mining’s development at its Snowy River site. The Minerals West Coast contingent travelled by van to Reefton and Echo coal mine was the first stop of the day. Echo sits in the Garvey Creek Coalfield (part of the Brunner coal measures), producing coal for export, which is taken by rail to the Lyttelton Port before being taken by ship to international markets.
Mine manager, Eamon Moynihan started the day by giving the Minerals West Coast visitors a run through of the history, development, and modern operations of the mine, followed by a visit to view the working pit.
Then visitors were shown the results of the rehabilitation efforts at the site, as well as the mussel shell reactor acid mine drainage treatment.
After travelling back through Reefton for lunch, Minerals West Coast travelled south to visit Federation Mining’s Snowy River site. Broken up into groups of three, each group was given a run through of the development of the site, and future exploration and mine plans, an explanation of the wetland water treatment system, and a walking tour of the tunnel development to date.
Photos of the underground development can be seen below.
Every ten weeks Minerals West Coast manager, Patrick Phelps, speaks to Bryan Crump (host of Nights on RNZ National) to discuss whatever subject relating to mining is topical at the time.
This month’s focus of conversation was where the mining history sits in the context of New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis.
Mining matters #10: Significant natural areas
In the same context, the latest installment of Mining Matters looks at the issue of significant natural areas – SNAs’ – on private land. This video can be watched in full below.
Meeting to approve merger of Minerals West Coast and West Coast Commercial Goldminers' Association
As notified in Minerals West Coast’s May newsletter, a meeting will be held in July to confirm the merger of the West Coast Commercial Goldminers’ Association with Minerals West Coast. This amalgamation was agreed to in principle at the annual general meetings of both respective organisations in Reefton in September last year.
The meeting will be held at the Westland RSA on Wednesday the 14th of July, starting at 7:00pm.
MWC's full time manager and part time writer. Come here for occasional news and musings on mining, conservation, and regional economics.