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By Ross Louthean

New Zealand is still wallowing in red tape and one of those with a pair of thought scissors is Straterra’s Bernie Napp.

Includes following attachments:
- Bernie Napp: Untangling NZ’s red tape (889.7 kilobytes)

By Ross Louthean

These are tough times for mining professionals in Australia and New Zealand and also for the graduating students and the AusIMM president told conference delegates what the institute was doing.

New Talisman Gold Mines said it would be offering more than 200 million new shares that were the shortfall from the recent renounceable rights issue.

One of the recently listed and now partially Government owned power companies has told shareholders there may be a return of capital but that would not be considered until after the election.

Includes following attachments:
- Meridian Shareholder Letter (1.2 megabytes)
- Meridian Financial Advice (300.5 kilobytes)

One petroleum company that failed to get married to another Australian company this year is looking for increased production and profit from its New Zealand operations.

Includes following attachments:
- Horizon Financials (1.5 megabytes)
- Horizon Presentation (376.8 kilobytes)

Stockbrokers may be thinking that something is afoot at Pan Pacific Petroleum with two senior directors deciding to step off the board and sell their shares.

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch has certainly shaken off the earthquake blues of a few years ago to produce a strong financial result.

Includes following attachments:
- Lyttelton Port Results (233.3 kilobytes)
- LPC Full Year Report (273.4 kilobytes)

AusIMM president Geoff Sharrock (left) presents the Lloyd Jones Award to Bob Brathwaite.

Includes following attachments:
- Bathurst Financial Year Statements (1.4 megabytes)

GNS Science continues to monitor New Zealand’s most active volcano following some relatively shallow quakes near it late last week.

The push to get renewable energy into the Pacific nations has seen a milestone produced in Samoa.

According to the Prime Minister, Taranaki Iwi have outlined to East Coast iwi the benefits of oil and gas developments.

Steelmaker BlueScope Steel is emerging from the sea of red that beset its Australian operations in recent years, and one of the white knights was NZ Steel.

Includes following attachments:
- BlueScope Presentation FY 2014 (4.0 megabytes)

Recent News

Gold News

The often forgotten Rahu gold prospect adjacent to Karangahake has now produced a maiden resource.

An Australian explorer has indicated it cannot advance exploration on a South Island gold project because of red tape, and the vibes say it may walk away.

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

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.

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.

Oil & Gas News

A company listed earlier this year which has the Kerosene Creek oil prospect on New Zealand’s South Island is now aiming to acquire a second junior Australian company.

The general perception was that New Zealand Oil & Gas has just completed a healthy year with only a few warts.

Another major offshore exploration well has been completed in the offshore Taranaki and this one failed to find commercial hydrocarbons.

An hapu is reportedly upset with plans to dredge Whangerei Harbour but the oil refiner responsible is unsure of the degree of dredging it needs to undertake.

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.

Coal, Lignite & CSG/CBM News

The feeling was strong in Greymouth yesterday when family members of some of the men who died in the Pike River mine tragedy gathered to protest to Prime Minister Key on a visit to the West Coast.

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 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.

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.

Other Metals & Minerals News

Another capital raising has been undertaken by an advanced explorer at a time it is in a political spotlight.

The level of annoyance of the release of a staff EPA report on the Chatham Rock Phosphate marine consents move was detailed by the company, including the negative effect on its share price.

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.

Renewable Energy News

Unlike New Zealand, Australia does not have some of the attributes for renewable energy, and the cash-tight Government in Canberra is looking to hone its grants and concerssions.

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.

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

A PhD student at Canterbury University is working on a new form of supercapacitor to harness energy.

A GNS Science scientist will talk on geothermal energy in NZ at the next Nelson Discussion Group.

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.

Economics, Politics & Government News

New Zealanders were glued to the television screen last night for the great television debate, and so was our political correspondent.

It’s not the economy, or mining issues that has the political parties revved up right now – it’s housing.

There will be 15 registered parties fighting this election and that is more than last time and the simple arithmetic also takes in more candidates.

The election campaign has shown the parties that housing grant support is an important issue and yesterday the Nationals lifted their game.

The Dirty Politics book continues to bedevil the progress of Prime Minister John Key and an important litmus test for both he and Labour leader David Cunliffe will be a political debate this Thursday.

Other News

The now listed Meridian Energy is going more upmarket by taking an upmarket office at Auckland Airport for its sales team.

Getting negative trade figures is not a good thing for a Government with an election nigh.

The last of the three partly privatised gentailers has reported its results and, while healthy, the figures were below targets being set by some analysts and prompted Labour to say it was sold too cheap.

The most southerly of the listed port companies had a record year but the questions about future performance include the longevity of the smelter at Bluff.

Fiscal 2014 was not quite as strong for Vector in terms of turnover and net profit but the company has outlined a broadening of its diverse operations.