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Ann: GENERAL: CRP: CRP assists with Namibian environmental pilot

    • Release Date: 04/02/15 14:28
    • Summary: GENERAL: CRP: CRP assists with Namibian environmental pilot
    • Price Sensitive: No
    • Download Document  3.57KB
    04/02/2015 14:28
    REL: 1428 HRS Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited
    GENERAL: CRP: CRP assists with Namibian environmental pilot
    Media Release
    CRP assists with Namibian environmental pilot
    4 February 2015
    Chatham Rock Phosphate is sharing its experience of New Zealand's
    environmental consenting regime to assist Namibia in designing an
    environmental assessment process for its seabed phosphate resources.
    The Namibian government sought input from interested parties to define the
    content of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of phosphate mining off
    Namibia and on-shore phosphate processing.
    CRP has just concluded a multi-million dollar process seeking a marine
    consent from New Zealand's Environmental Protection Authority. A decision
    will be announced next week.
    CRP has applied through a Namibian subsidiary to explore marine phosphate
    deposits in Namibian waters. The applications will be considered by the
    Ministry of Mines and Energy when Namibia's regional EIA is completed and the
    moratorium on exploration is lifted.
    Managing Director Chris Castle said CRP decided to comment on the Namibia
    seabed environmental assessment project given the company's first-hand New
    Zealand experience.
    "CRP's environmental research and consultation had to be of the highest
    quality to comply with the rigorous standards demanded by the EPA process.
    This was demonstrated by the fact that the conferencing between experts
    during the marine consent hearing process achieved broad levels of agreement
    on most of our scientific findings.
    "We were told by Namibian government officials that New Zealand is viewed as
    developing international best practice standards for marine mining and so we
    are keen to support efforts for that to be achieved as widely as possible."
    CRP was awarded a mining permit over the key resource area on the Chatham
    Rise in December 2013 and submitted its weighty Environmental Impact
    Assessment in May 2014 as a prelude to the marine consent process.
    "More than $30 million has been spent on the project in the last seven and a
    half years covering exploration, engineering and environmental studies," Mr
    Castle said.  "CRP investigations have contributed to the Chatham Rise being
    now regarded as one of the best researched and understood marine environments
    in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone."
    The research undertaken by CRP over the past four years has included analysis
    of oceanographic conditions, trace elements and toxicology, fish population
    dynamics, mammal and seabird behaviours, sea floor environmental surveys,
    plus modelling the interconnections of marine organisms,  sediment plume
    dynamics, the distribution of benthic communities, and the potential impacts
    from mining on the marine ecosystem.
    The information provided by CRP to the Namibian government includes
    electronic links to the EPA website containing the full EIA, transcripts of
    the hearing, expert evidence, public submissions and associated information
    presented during the 26-day hearing process.
    The response, based on recent experience, includes CRP's commentary on the
    tasks required for a robust assessment of the marine environment and the
    potential impacts of marine mining.  In its response CRP emphasised the
    importance of identifying and consulting with existing interests, collecting
    baseline information on oceanographic conditions and environmental linkages
    and sensitivities, and using numerical models to predict the nature and
    extent of impacts from marine mining.
    Chris Castle, Managing Director +64 21 558 185 or [email protected]
    End CA:00260314 For:CRP    Type:GENERAL    Time:2015-02-04 14:28:27

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