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By Simon Hartley

Scott Technology is now about to double its floor plan at its Dunedin headquarters to expand its robotics and some of its engineering activities.

By Simon Hartley

Government proposals which could dramatically alter how mining is done in New Zealand cast a pall of gloom over the annual AusIMM New Zealand Mining Conference in in Tauranga. Attendee Simon Hartley summarises the state of the sector.

By Dene Mackenzie

The chief economist for the ANZ Bank feels the official cash rate could be in for a change if economic data was shown to be negative.

By Ross Louthean

If New Zealand does not want to remain reliant on one listed company for virtually all of its hard rock gold ore than the groundswell of interest in re-entering the Golden Blocks needs to advance.

Includes following attachments:
- GoldenBlocks presentation (3.8 megabytes)

An executive at Genesis Energy is to take up an added role at the energy company.

New Zealand has a greater zest for electric vehicles than Australia and the political will to advance this further was shown last week.

Fresh from some positive reports earlier this month OceanaGold gave a robust presentation late last week at a major Australian gold conference.

Includes following attachments:
- Oceana Gold JP Morgan Australian Gold Forum (3.1 megabytes)

Congratulations to the Coalition Government, your arbitrary move to spike future oil and gas exploration has seen one Australian junior pull the pin on New Zealand and focus on Cuba.

Includes following attachments:
- Melbana Corporate Presentation (3.2 megabytes)

Electric scooters may soon be operating on a hire basis in Auckland and Christchurch but let’s hope the experiment works better than the bicycle hire exercise in Melbourne where a large number of the machines ended up in the Yarra River.

One of the key North Island coal mines was outlined at last week’s AusIMM New Zealand Mining Conference.

Includes following attachments:
- Bathurst - Geology, Structure and Development of the Maramarua Open Pit Mine (2.6 megabytes)

Recent News

Gold News

The WKP prospect near Waihi is shaping up as a major gold-silver discovery to provide greater longevity for OceanaGold in the Hauraki goldfield.

The world’s two most devastating weather events each had mining operations for OceanaGold close to their eyes.

A Perth-based company is setting in motion the raising of capital for a new gold quest in the historic Reefton goldfield.

While the progress to put the historic Talisman mine back into production has had some minor road blocks the course going forward has been positive.

Australia’s gold mining status is marching ahead with big exploration spends set for the new financial year, including targets by two companies that have left the New Zealand gold scene.

Oil & Gas News

The months of July and August provided a bumper performance for Refining New Zealand’s Marsden Point oil refinery.

The oil and gas sector body PEPANZ has asked that the select committee meeting into future offshore exploration be held in Taranaki so the locals can have their say.

Horizon Oil told the Good Oil Conference in Australia that its positive FY18 year had been aided by the acquisition of a greater interest in the Maari-Manaia oil fields in the offshore Taranaki.

The inflationary effect of increasing fuel prices has also hit the use of plastic in New Zealand.

Once again Greenpeace has fired off some wishful allegations and this time has been shot down by the petroleum industry.

Coal, Lignite & CSG/CBM News

A series of four workshops on risk assessment for a re-entry into the Pike River coal mine will be held this month, and they will be open to the public.

Downer has renewed a mining contract, this time for a big coal operation in south-east Queensland.

Bathurst had a stronger year but the shadow of a High Court ruling halted the immediate idea of a shareholder dividend.

The Pike River Recovery Agency is now recruiting a team of experienced coal miners to assist with the quest of recovering the remains of miners who perished eight years ago.

The chief executive of Bathurst Resources has told the South Island media that the High Court ruling for a payment of $US40 million against it was not a threat to the company’s viability.

Other Metals & Minerals News

As the development of the world’s first sophisticated seafloor massive sulphides project the requirement for funds has seen a new loan provided.

Chatham Rock Phosphate has established a subsidiary to focus on the potential to also recover rare earths from the Chatham Rise seabed.

Melbourne-based E2 Metals joined the rush into battery metals but recently changed its mine. Perhaps it may put a new focus on its Neavesville gold prospect in the Hauraki Goldfield.

Its been a year for anti-development success in New Zealand started by a ban on new offshore oil exploration permits, the blocking of land access for a West Coast coal project and now a High Court ruling to overrule an EPA decision for seabed ironsands mining.

Chatham Rock Phosphate is not deterred by the High Court ruling against another seabed mining applicant this week and will persist with its re-application to mine Chatham Rise for seafloor phosphate nodules.

Renewable Energy News

Favourable rainfall and wind conditions in the June quarter paved the way for a record generation of renewable energy.

A global investor tour by Contact Energy aims at not only selling the company but also the merits of investing in New Zealand.

The independent report going to Tilt shareholders indicates there should be a much stronger price for the company than the two takeover parties have offered.

Few politicians talk about the important back up the Huntly gas and coal-fired as a back-up when renewable energy is found wanting. A report just released shows what may be required with a 100% renewable scenario.

Tilt Renewables has cited a Victorian wind farm deal as an example of its defence against a full takeover.

Environment News

A total of 150 years ago to today a massive earthquake off South America saw a huge tsunami sweep across the Pacific, hitting New Zealand and causing fatalities on the Chatham Islands.

By switching to ground power instead of inbuilt aircraft supply while at NZ airports international Air New Zealand flights were generating big savings on jet fuel and also lowering the carbon footprint.

The faulting under Dunedin may be greater than originally thought but a new GNS Science led study is not ringing any alarm bells.

Strong quake off Picton (Free to View)

The top of the North Island had a nasty jolt with a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. Fortunately it was quite deep.

New Zealand scientists and a prominent university have joined forces to support food authentication requirements for developing nations

Education, Science & Technology News

Grants totalling $11.2 million are being given to GNS Science for a variety of research projects, including a window coating that can help generate electricity.

Ever since the devastating Canterbury earthquakes there has been a big focus on one of New Zealand’s highly prone areas, the Alpine Fault, and researchers have added new warnings about what may lie ahead.

A large-scale marine survey in Marlborough Sound provided scientists with an added bonus – the uncovering of 10 shipwrecks.

A structural geology specialist will give a talk to the Nelson Discussion Group on some of the district’s regional geology that requires a better understanding.

A geological map of Tongariro National Park will add to understanding not only of the area’s geology but how various volcanoes have performed over the eons.

Economics, Politics & Government News

While the words “capital gains tax” were avoided in a new Government report observers believe a two-system capital gains is possible.

The Tax Working Group report released yesterday appears to have covered little of merit and glossed over a potential capital gains tax.

Political observer Dene Mackenzie sees some relevance in a well-known poem by Walt Whitman and the status of NZ First leader Winston Peters.

A new BusinessNZ survey has shown more evidence of the deteriorating confidence in Government by the business sector.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday released a blueprint which she says will show the course the Coalition Government will take in this term, and perhaps beyond.

Other News

The annual report of South Port NZ reflects a stronger FY18 but warns there may be challenges to replicate the financial result in the current year.

The current account is showing signs of stress and one analyst believes the figures would be less palatable without a strong tourist trade.

A just-released Westpac consumer confidence index has hit its lowest level for six years.

Contact Energy has gone through a prolonged dry season and has told shareholders it adapted and was also now a “truly digital retailer.”

The just-released annual report of Marsden Maritime paints a strong picture for the year ahead despite a slight dip in earnings for FY18.