The overseas company behind a controversial plan to mine a fossil-rich diatomite reserve in Otago has dropped its bid to buy more than 400ha of farmland.
Plaman applied to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy 432ha of farmland near Middlemarch, which surrounds its 42ha at Foulden Maar.
But Plaman went into receivership and liquidation last month, and the company has now withdrawn its application to the OIO.
A statement from the OIO said it had already been closely examining Plaman's financial viability before the company went into receivership.
"The OIO subsequently asked Plaman for more information about its application after receiving significant new information," the statement said.
"Plaman has now informed the OIO that it does not intend to respond to our information request and has withdrawn its application.
"The OIO received 42 submissions in total about the application, including information about the significant fossil site on the land."
The plan to mine the 23-million-year-old crater lake drew the ire of many, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Foulden Maar's geological treasure trove has been described as New Zealand's Pompeii.
The maar is unique for New Zealand and stands as an incredibly preserved record of the environment and ecology over a 120,000-year period from 23-million years ago.
Plaman had intended to use the fossil rich diatomite as an animal food supplement for pigs, chickens and turkeys.
That inspired opposition in Middlemarch, Dunedin and throughout the country - culminating last month in a call from locals to preserve and protect Foulden Maar in perpetuity.