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Activists challenge redacted mining files

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/11/2016 Sean Martin

A company's second crack to mine a Taranaki seabed is headed to court as activists call for its new application to be made public.

Seabed miner Trans Tasman Resources has made its second application for consent to extract ironsands from the South Taranaki Bight, after its first bid was rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 over environmental concerns.

But Kiwis Against Seabed Mining says hundreds of pages of the new application have been redacted and on Monday it will ask the Environment Court to make the details public.

KASM chaiman Phil McCabe said an earlier EPA decision allowing the redactions - and only allowing viewing under a confidentiality agreement - threatened public debate on the issue.

"We believe the public has a right to see this information," he said.

"The redacted documents provide crucial information about the potential environmental impact of digging up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year for 35 years," he said.

Mr McCabe said none of that data was redacted in two previous applications to mine in the area.

The Environment Court hearing is expected to run two days.

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