A environmental group in Southland says gold and platinum prospecting won't have any economic benefits there.
Tenders for exploration opened on 20 September and include more than 1100 square km on the West Coast; 2600 square km in Tasman and 300 square km in Southland.
One of those areas is Longwood forest, a popular area 45km west of Invercargill.
South Coast Environment Society's chairman Robert Guyton says a failed gold mine left a lot of mess in Longwood forest. He fears the same will happen with the new tenders.
If minerals are found, Mr Guyton says it will be private companies and not the community who will benefit.