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4/6/2018 — Other Minerals and Metals
OIO nod for diatomite project awaited
By Simon Hartley

No confirmation has come from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) on an application by Otago diatomite miner Plaman Resources' to expand its mine footprint in Middlemarch.

Overseas-owned Plaman Resources purchased the mine and land near Middlemarch for more than $A5 million ($NZ5.4 M) in March 2015, from a start-up company which had been unsuccessful in producing diatomite for fertiliser.

Plaman intends to mine several hundred thousand tonnes annually of diatomite for processing near Invercargill and export it as a stock food supplement.

The company has applied to the OIO for permission to expand the mine's 42 hectares footprint, by purchasing an adjacent 400 ha of land.

The OIO this week released its decision summaries for April, but Plaman was not named among the nine separate decisions. However, two of the nine decisions were redacted by the OIO, citing sections of the Official Information Act, removing company names and details which may have identified the deals.

The information was withheld because no announcements had been made on public markets transactions, the OIO said.

Plaman Resources, trading as Plaman Global Corporation, is majority owned (50.95%) by listed, tech company Iris Corporation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Burleigh Nominees (49.05%) in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom. Its directors are George Manolas and Panayiotis Plakidis, both of Sydney.

*Simon Hartley is senior business reporter and assistant chief reporter for the Otago Daily Times.

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