Northland farmers offered a permit to explore for minerals on their properties say it is likely they will take up the opportunity.
Their company Waimatenui Exploration was successful in the Government's tender round for exploration rights.
The seven farmers together own about 5000 hectares north-west of Whangarei.
One of the farmers, Rod MacDonald, says they put in a bid to safeguard their land, on the basis that if anyone's going to profit from mining, it might as well be the landowners.
He says the farmers are all freeholders, and would have no trouble raising the money to support a mining venture.
Mr MacDonald says analysis of rock samples from the land has shown good prospects for copper, nickel and aluminium.
Two other companies were issued a permit. They are Tai Tokerau Minerals, formed by Far North mayor Wayne Brown and owned by Northland residents, and Western Australia-based De Grey Mining.