27 May 2010

Mining submissions 39,000 and rising

6:32 pm on 27 May 2010

A late rush of submissions has been made on the Government's mining proposals for protected conservation land.

The Ministry of Economic Development says at least 4000 were lodged before 5pm on Wednesday.

Ministry staff worked late into the night processing the submissions, which continue to arrive.

The total has now risen to 39,000 and the ministry says it will accept any it receives that were post-marked before the deadline.

One of the last to be lodged was from the country's largest conservation group, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand.

The group's submission draws on an independent economic analysis it commissioned to challenge a Government estimate, which valued the country's on-shore minerals at $194 billion.

Forest and Bird claims the true value is about $100 million.