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The company behind a proposal for what is believed to be the world's biggest seabed ironsand mining project has secured and received US$11.2 million (NZ$13.7m) in funding.
Trans-Tasman Resources is seeking a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority to mine up to 50 million tonnes of seabed material a year off the coast of Patea.
It had also received a fresh Mineral Resource Statement which said there may be almost one billion tonnes more iron ore than previously estimated.
Trans-Tasman's chief executive Tim Crossley said the new funding came from existing shareholders and new local investment and was a vote of confidence from new and existing investors.
"[It] will enable TTR to progress engineering, project funding and consenting work streams."
International dredging specialists IHC Merwede, as well as engineers from a raft of companies are designing the integrated mining and processing system for Trans-Tasman's South Taranaki iron sands project which covers 65.7-square-kilometres of ocean floor.
The updated Mineral Resource Statement, provided by Trans-Tasman's geology consultant Golder Associates, had significantly improved the company's confidence in the iron ore resource with an estimated increase of 900,000 tonnes.
That takes the total ore available to more than 2.6 billion tonnes.
The latest statement update covered 97 per cent of the proposed mining area.
Crossley said the latest resource statement capped off a successful year.