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Mining locations

Seabed Mining Locations.

Pakiri / Mangawhai.

Pakiri and Mangawhai have been compromised by nearly 80 years of nearshore suction dredging, in waters from 5-20 metres deep. This has had multiple visible impacts including the loss of dunes and surrounding vegetation. The quality of the surf has been adversely affected and the fishery disturbed.

Little Barrier.

One permit for 2,000,000 cubic metres is currently operational in the seabed area north east of Little Barrier island, with no annual limit.


Two permits are currently active within the Kaipara harbour, totalling 400,000 cubic metres per year, for five years, then increasing quantities after meeting further conditions.

Foreshore Mining Locations.

Port Waikato North Head.

At Port Waikato, BHP mines 6 M tpa of ironsand from the North Head, which is concentrated on site to produce 1.2 M tpa of titanomagnetite concentrate. 


At Taharoa, ironsand is mined by dredging beach and dune sand to produce concentrate averaging 40% titanomagnetite. Annual production has been about 1.4 Mt since the operation opened in 1972. 


A small land-based mining operation in the dunes behind the beach here was begun in 1971 and wound up in 1987. Like at Taharoa, ore was slurried via a pipe to ships moored offshore and transported to Japan and China. Extraction of 15 million tonnes of ore created a vast hole, which is now filled with water.

Hawkes Bay.

There has been a long history of mining gravel and aggregate directly from the beaches of Hawke’s Bay, beginning during the earliest period of settlement. 


Whiritoa has been substantially transformed form its original state, when it featured huge heaped dunes. In total more than 180,000m³ of sand has been removed. Since the 1960s a coastal subdivision has covered most of what remains of the sand dune reserves.

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