View all publications

Environmental risk assessment of discharges of sediment during prospecting and exploration for seabed minerals

Publication date:  February 2014
Publication reference number:  CR 182

This independent report was prepared for the Ministry for the Environment by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) in January 2014.

The Ministry for the Environment commissioned NIWA to make a risk-based assessment of the spectrum of environmental effects of discharging tailings and sediments from the prospecting and exploration stages of mineral mining operations into the marine environment, considering all aspects of risk to the marine environment.

The risk ratings in the report were used to inform the Ministry’s assessment of the potential environmental effects of sediments from the prospecting and exploration stages of mineral mining operations. The NIWA report is the main source of scientific evidence for the proposals on sediment discharge from mineral prospecting and exploration in the exposure draft of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects—Discharge and Dumping) Regulations 2014.

While it was used as the main source of evidence for the proposals on sediment discharge from mineral prospecting and exploration, this report by NIWA does not represent the views or policy of the Government.