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By Simon Hartley

The annual AusIMM New Zealand conference is usually an exercise for striking deals but an underlying hurdle will be alleviating the current market and commodity pessimism.

By Dene Mackenzie

Another poll has the ruling National party still well in front but will there be any more dirty politics revelations?

By Ross Louthean

In preparation for the annual New Zealand conference, editor Ross Louthean previews some of the issues to be debated in and out of the conference auditoriums.

By Ross Louthean

The prolonged entombment of the bodies of 29 men who died in the Pike River mine disaster years ago is upsetting some of the grieving families and produced an understandable response yesterday.

The never ending claims by Forest & Bird against a planned new coal project on the Denniston Plateau hit a new sour note that brought the Conservation Minister out punching.

The political angst caused by partially privatising three Government energy companies was eased for the second time this week with another of the companies detailing a fiscal year profit that was above its IPO target.

Includes following attachments:
- MRP Financials (488.2 kilobytes)
- MRP Presentation (2.3 megabytes)

It’s interesting to find out a government safety organisation is investigating activity at one of its exploration wells; it’s puzzling though when you say you know nothing about the alleged incident.

The company being seen as the growing force in port transhipping in New Zealand has produced a healthy result for fiscal 2014.

Includes following attachments:
- Port for the Future presentation (6.0 megabytes)

The red ink expected for New Zealand’s sole oil refiner appeared in the half year result and the company is targeting getting back in the black.

Includes following attachments:
- Analysts Briefing 2014 Half Year Results (2.9 megabytes)

Recent News

Gold News

If ever you needed to understand the gold price is not good enough and how damaging the strong Kiwi dollar can be, then look at the impact it is now having on the community of Alexandra.

The mothballing of one alluvial gold mining operation on the South Island has not sent shivers to a more recently developed operation further south.

A resource consent has been granted for a proposed underground gold mine that could provide new job opportunities to make up for those now being lost on the South Island.

An Australian junior explorer has asked questions of itself that it would expect from shareholders on its ongoing exploration work and funding that includes a North Island gold-silver project.

The rubber stamp work by the bureaucracy worldwide can often be slow, but that wasn’t the case for an aspiring New Zealand gold miner.

Oil & Gas News

An Australian company involved in hydrocarbon exploration and production in New Zealand has appointed a new exploration manager.

A disappointing onshore exploration well in the Taranaki produced some chill winds on London’s junior market.

Another offshore exploration well has not produced joy in its upper reaches but was now drilling towards a deeper target which the partners believe could be oil-prone.

Iwi in the far north may have issues with offshore oil exploration but this week they were irked by the conduct of oil protestors at a public meeting.

It was a black tie affair at an Auckland venue this week that attracted the petroleum industry to the annual Deloitte awards.

Coal, Lignite & CSG/CBM News

If people are concerned about the cutbacks taking place for hard coking coal used for global steelmaking, spare a thought for the lower-valued steaming coal used in global power generation.

Coal fires are burning on the home front, and that is providing a positive for Bathurst Resources.

The extent of retrenchments at the Stockton opencast coal mine were revealed early this week.

Those who are claiming coal is on the way out may need to heed the observations of a well known Australian commentator and energy sector administrator.

The long awaited start to getting development of the big new West Coast export coking coal mine underway has started. All that is needed now is a lift in the coal price.

Other Metals & Minerals News

Chatham Rock Phosphate is unhappy with an early report on the views of EPA staff on the position of its consents application for recovering phosphate nodules from the seabed.

The long-telegraphed proposal for a New Zealand based explorer to list in London is now dependent on getting resource consents.

One of the Australian companies with a significant package of land in New Zealand has cut its holdings significantly and also slowed down its exploration activity.

The jigsaw pieces are coming together for the world’s first seafloor massive sulphides copper-gold mining operation – a story that raised some eyebrows at Diggers & Dealers.

MOD Resources, which is advancing New Zealand’s largest undeveloped gold deposit, is pressing ahead with its other project in Africa which is being primed for a joint venture.

Renewable Energy News

The big development spend by Contact Energy in recent years have paved the way for a stronger profit in financial year 2014 and there is confidence there will be a strong performance in the coming year.

One of the recently listed energy companies may use its healthy profit line to undertake a share buy-back.

The blueprint for another geothermal power plant has been put back on the shelf, primarily because there was no market growth for its immediate development.

New Zealand’s big new geothermal power station was officially launched yesterday on the North Island.

A lot of information was thrown out into the market this week about global wind power issues and one of the advances will be some bigger turbines.

Environment News

A large area of high country in Otago has become New Zealand’s largest conservation covenant.

The energy, minerals and environment research and consulting company CRL Energy has won the Environment Award at this year’s Minerals West Coast Conference.

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter may be Southland’s major employer but its operator has for more than two decades played a pivotal role in preserving the endangered kapako – the world’s biggest parrot.

The wait is over. A marine reserve has been designated for a section of Banks Peninsula.

The environmental alarm bells are again ringing on claims about global warming and rising seas, showing that it would be an idea for the Government and the media to provide some balance to the issue.

Education, Science & Technology News

With the growth in demand for geothermal energy, GNS Science has officially opened its revamped geothermal laboratories near Taupo.

The opening up of role of computers and smart phones has seen a revolutionary advance made by a regional council and GNS Science.

The need to increase the education and training for engineers in New Zealand has prompted a new push by the Government.

One of the South Island universities badly damaged by earthquakes is to get a big lick of money to help with the rebuild of its science facilities.

A prominent New Zealand specialist on scientific issues for Antarctica has gained a prestigious international award for his work.

Economics, Politics & Government News

A key player in the coming election, who could be a critical ally for John Key’s quest for re-election, talks to our political columnist.

A public speaking event in Dunedin set down for today may have not occurred except for a National candidate from elsewhere because all the local MPs and election candidates were busy elsewhere.

The Green Party yesterday came out with a proposal to levy a new taxation rate that it wants to use to reduce child poverty – something the Government says will only impair the economic recovery.

Only one major party was yet to launch its political campaign – the governing National Party and that will happen in Auckland next weekend.

Winston Peters is a good operator in a verbal stoush but he may have received more than he bargained for on the political campaign yesterday.

Other News

A repeat lift in profit may not be that easy in the new fiscal year for a significant steel sector company.

One of the barometers for inflation and interest rates had a lift in the June quarter.

While many other industrial and engineering companies have been feeling stress, one listed company has benefited from being on the acquisition trail last year.

Despite the slump in Australia’s mining scene, a dual listed construction company is looking to an improved profit performance.

The push for royalties for regions has Local Government New Zealand now pushing the barrow to see if councils can have a slice of the central government’s petroleum and mining royalty revenue.