Quarries first to benefit

Photography by: Stuartyeates | Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Resources minister Shane Jones has announced a Draft Minerals Strategy to use the resources under the Earth to enhance prosperity for New Zealanders


Wayne Scott, who heads the Aggregate & Quarry Association, says the strategy’s first action is to fund GNS Science to complete a detailed stocktake of New Zealand’s known mineral potential.

"We’ve been calling for this for more than six years. It will build on work we started with GNS in 2018 in Ōpōtiki, which showed the benefit of identifying and using local rock resources."

He says when the town’s proposed harbour development looked to truck in rock from the nearest existing quarries 100km away, the projected cost doubled.

"Finding local rock supplies helped make the project viable. Such benefits can become available around the country once GNS completes its identification of aggregate potential stocktake, which will principally identify viable rock and sand resources in each region.

As it happens, minister Jones announcement comes as the Infrastructure Commission prepares to unveil work it had commissioned for some regions of New Zealand."

GNS has identified potential areas for aggregate extraction close to Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, and Queenstown/Central Otago. This work will be released early next month.

"It’s good to see Minister Jones acknowledge such things, as Auckland is already facing critical shortages of aggregates.

That’s not due to our major city running out of rock but too much of it having been roped off," says Wayne. "This new strategy reflects that win-win approach."

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