Consent issues delay listing

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 12/08/2014

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NZX-listed Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) will delay its listing on the London AIM market until it has been granted a marine consent to vacuum phosphate nodules from the sea floor.

And the marine consent decision has been pushed back to December after CRP was asked to provide extra information to the Environment Protection Authority-appointed Decision-making Committee (DMC).

CRP managing director Chris Castle announced in February that it intended to list on the AIM market, the secondary market of the London Stock Exchange for smaller, growing companies. At the time he expected the process to take between two to three months.

"The directors have decided it is preferable . . . to have an Initial Public Offering in London after we receive the marine consent," he said yesterday.

"As a result, sufficient funds are being raised to meet the company's needs for the next few months."

Existing shareholders will have the opportunity to participate at the same price as private placements, Castle said.

The DMC had asked CRP for further information to supplement its application.

CRP will submit evidence on a range of topics including the benefits of the project to New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, commercial viability, effects on commercial fishing, migrating eels, fish spawning, toxicity thresholds, habitats and seabirds.

The hearing is now listed as starting on September 25, with a decision due on December 18, three weeks later than originally scheduled.

Earlier this month CRP cut in half the area covered by a marine consent application after it told the EPA that it would remove 4985 square kilometres from the eastern end of the Chatham Rise seabed, for which it already holds a prospecting permit. The area the marine consent would cover now totals 5207sqkm.

Deepwater fishing interests have opposed the large-scale strip-mining venture on the Chatham Rise because of concerns that widespread habitat destruction would put the health and quality of the fisheries at risk.

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- The Press

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