The hearing on the marine consent application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd (CRP) has been closed by the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Decision-making Committee.
The Committee now has 20 working days to make its decision. Due to the Christmas period, a decision is expected to be made early next year.
The hearing was adjourned by the Committee on 19 November to allow it to consider the information received during the course of the hearing and whether any other matters needed to be addressed.
The Committee has decided that it does not need to seek further input from parties and it closed the hearing today.
The EPA will release the decision as soon as practicable after it has been made.
The publicly notified marine consent application by CRP is being considered by the EPA under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environment Effects) Act 2012.
CRP is proposing to mine phosphate nodules from the Chatham Rise, initially within an 820 sq. km area for which it has a mining permit. In the future, mining may also occur in a wider 5,207 sq. km area, dependent on monitoring results and environmental investigations. CRP is seeking a marine consent from the EPA in relation to the wider area (5,207 sq. km). CRP proposes to mine at least 30 sq. km of seabed per annum to meet its annual minimum production target of 1.5 million tonnes of phosphate nodules.The Decision-making Committee can grant or refuse the marine consent. If consent is granted, the Committee can set conditions to address the adverse effects of the activity on the environment or existing interests. These conditions would be monitored and enforced by the EPA.
For more information on the CRP application see http://www.epa.govt.nz/EEZ/chatham_rock_phosphate/Pages/default.aspx