Tuesday 25th July 2017
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The decision making committee which will determine whether Trans Tasman Resources gets a green light to mine iron sands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has indicated it requires an additional one-week extension to deliver its decision to the Environmental Protection Authority.
On June 15 the committee extended the time period until July 29 but "it is now apparent that it will not be possible to meet this deadline," it said.
It now expects the decision to be delivered on Aug. 3. The EPA said the decision could run into hundreds of pages, all which will need to be proof-read before hard copies are produced and bound for publication. "We estimate this work will take around 10 working days," it said.
As a result, it expects the EPA to make the decision public during the week commencing August 14.
The hearing, which wrapped up in late May, marks the second time TTR has sought permission to extract 50 million tonnes of seabed material a year to export up to 5 million tonnes of iron sand per year after it was turned down in 2014 when a committee appointed by the Environmental Protect Authority ruled the environmental impacts of the proposal were too difficult to gauge on the evidence available.
The committee is of the view that this additional extension "to ensure it is possible to consider all the information presented at the hearing and prepare a fully reasoned decision, is in the best interests of all persons directly affected by the extension and the community," it said.
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