EPA to publish blacked-out mining info ASAP

5:20 pm on 9 November 2016

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has pledged to publish previously redacted information about a major mining project on its website as soon as it can.

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Trans Tasman Resources is seeking consent to mine up to 66 square kilometres of Taranaki seabed. Photo: 123RF

Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) is seeking consent to mine 50 million tonnes of ironsand from up to 66 square kilometres of seabed, between 22 to 36 km off the coast of Patea.

It will be in water 20m to 45m deep and will employ more than 300 people.

The company had earlier been refused permission to mine the seabed but has prepared a second application.

It redacted some of the information from documents prepared to support this second application.

The company argued it was commercially sensitive.

But TTR was challenged by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM), along with the fishing company Talleys and the iwi Ngāti Ruanui.

These organisations oppose the mining project saying it will harm the ocean environment.

In addition, they have argued the redacted information would make it hard for them to peer review the company's promises.

They went to the Environment Court seeking an order of disclosure and yesterday they won.

The EPA says it will publish the information as soon as it can.

TTR has pledged to comply with the court ruling and said it would release the technical information and economic data as directed.

It said it hoped the information would provide the evidence needed for analysis of the project on scientific grounds.

The company said it has spent more than $70m on the project, since its inception nine years ago.

The location of the application.

The location of the proposed project in Taranaki Graphic: Supplied / Environmental Protection Agency

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