A competitive tender will be held later this year for metallic mineral exploration permits over 8,261.09 km2 of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the central North Island of New Zealand.
The area is known to contain epithermal style gold-silver mineralisation and gold deposits.
New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) will seek bids between July 2013 and January 2014 and expects to award permits to the successful bidders by the end of April 2014.
Exploration permits can be granted for a period of up to ten years. Should commercially viable mineral deposits be found, companies would have to apply for a mining permit.
Further information is available here.
The invitation for bids is drafted on the assumption that the various proposed changes to the Crown Minerals regulatory regime will be in effect at the time permits are awarded. Bidders will need a good working knowledge of those changes, including the new upfront health and safety assessment.
Successful bidders will also need to negotiate the relevant Resource Management Act planning documents applying to the area and activities (district and regional plans, and national standards), and constructively engage with relevant local authorities, iwi, and any persons affected by exploration activities that require resource consent (i.e. are not permitted as of right).