Company to dig for South Island treasure
A Canadian company has been given the go-ahead to explore for platinum in the South Island.
Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges announced the exploration permits today at the Minerals West Coast forum in Greymouth.
Canadian-based Lynx Platinum Limited has been awarded three exploration permits covering 355 square kilometres near Murchison, and two exploration permits covering 168 square kilometres north of Invercargill.
Bridges told the Minerals West Coast forum that it was positive to see international companies entering the exploration market in New Zealand.
"These permits present an exciting opportunity for the Tasman and Southland regions," he said.
Bridges said it was a credit to the industry that international investors were looking to New Zealand.
Lynx would spend about $3 million in its first three years, which could rise to $7.5 million over five years if the first stages of work were successful.
Bridges said the minerals sector already contributed over $1 billion to the country's GDP.
"If an economic discovery is made, there could be significant benefits on both a regional and national level," he said.
"We can't afford to ignore the opportunity to make the most of untapped resources potential in a safe and environmentally responsible way."
Lynx had also applied for permits to explore in the Bluff area.
The Platinum New Zealand 2013 Minerals Tender process began in March last year and the competitive tender closed in April.
Exploration permits give the hold exclusive right to explore metallic minerals over the area specified for a period of five years.