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Geology expert says there are ways New Zealand can mine for minerals morally

Summarised by Centrist

Following Resources Minister Shane Jones unveiling his draft mining strategy, geology professor Dr Martin Brook says we don’t have to recklessly mine national parks. 

But, he asks, is it ethical to offshore our environmental footprint by importing unnecessary minerals?

Responding to critics of the new mining strategy, Brook says with better information, NZ might be able to mine new minerals ethically. 

Brook writes that while national parks deserve protection, Kiwis should identify specifically what potential problems there might be. 

Tailings from mines with a high strip ratio need serious consideration, for example. However, Brook says the “well managed and stable” tailings facility at OceanaGold’s Martha mine at Waihi demonstrates “what can be achieved with sufficient engineering and environmental regulation.”

Brook writes that tin, tungsten and tantalum shouldn’t be sourced from conflict regions. 

“New Zealand will need to use extracted minerals – either from its own mining operations or those of other countries – to make the transition to green energy and maintain present standards of living,” he notes. 

According to Brook: 

“By not exploring the mineral mining potential in its own backyard, while simultaneously consuming those minerals from other sources, New Zealand is conveniently offshoring its own environmental footprint.”

Read more over at The Conversation

Image: Shellie

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