The mining industry is calling on the next elected government to think smart, think big and think ahead when it comes to mining, says Straterra chief executive, Josie Vidal.
Straterra has sent its election hopes in a brochure to 119 MPs, along with a cup that points to the mined minerals that are required for an electric car, asking them to think about the valuable role of mining prior to the general election on 14 October.
“We want the next government, whatever its makeup, to back modern mining and acknowledge it operates under some of the highest standards in the world, which actually gives New Zealand an advantage and a selling point,” Vidal says.
“In asking the next government to think big, we believe it’s time for New Zealand to seize the once in a generation opportunity that the world’s move to green technology and a low carbon future offers. We have more mining potential and we want to be able to tap into that, as well as continue to supply the minerals we currently mine to the world – a world demanding more mining.
“Responsible mining, when all conditions are met, makes a positive contribution to the environment and to society.
“In the race to secure supply of the minerals needed to reach the big goals agreed to in the Paris Agreement our government needs to think ahead. What do we have here and how can we contribute to the big push to electrify transport, build renewable energy transmission, and advance technology.
“Our Election 2023 manifesto addresses mining and the environment, the need for a critical minerals strategy, and the value of mining and the contribution it will make to both adapting to, and mitigating climate change.
“Those who don’t want mining in New Zealand to continue paint a less than accurate picture of what modern, responsible mining looks like, and incorrectly conflate mining with climate change, seeing it as a problem when in fact, it is part of the solution.
“This won’t stop mining. It will shift it to places that might not mine as responsibly as we can. And New Zealand will become more dependent on imports and compromise energy security.
“There is a way we can protect the environment and mine for the minerals we need to retain and progress modern living for the good of everyone. In fact, New Zealand can lead the way in this.
“We want policy and law that encourages investment in mining in New Zealand and allows an effects-based, case-by-case approach to proposals for development that addresses the balance between social, cultural, environmental, and economic priorities. We need fewer constraints, appropriately targeted, not more.
“To reach the goals set for renewable electricity generation and decarbonisation we must rely on science, data, facts, and technology, and trust human ingenuity. That requires an enabling approach,” Vidal says.
Straterra is the industry association representing New Zealand’s minerals and mining sector.