Minerals West Coast

Minerals West Coast (MWC) exists to promote and assist the region’s minerals industry and DWC supports it through the funding of special projects.

MWC represents the collective interests of the West Coast minerals industry on forums and working groups progressing the development of new and existing legislation. It also assists mining companies on the Coast to come to grips with their responsibilities under new and revised mine safety regulations.

MWC has published various reports, including the West Coast Minerals Resource Assessment Report, the BERL Economics Potential Contribution of the Mining Industry to the West Coast, and Explore West Coast. It recently finalised the West Coast Minerals Strategy which aims to help reverse recent job losses by diversifying the types of minerals extracted, and by being upfront with potential investors about what the West Coast wants from its minerals extractive sector into the future.

Initiated by the Mayors of the three West Coast District councils and the Chairs of the West Coast Regional Council and DWC, the strategy will identify investment into the minerals sector while setting out the expectations of what doing business in the region entails. It promotes a philosophy of “red carpet, not red tape” to assist businesses to quickly and efficiently gain the necessary consents and permits required.

West Coast Minerals Strategy (2016)

Presenting the West Coast as a minerals extraction destination

See the West Coast Minerals Strategy document for:

  • The Region's economic development aspirations'
  • Our vision and objectives for our future;
  • Opportunities and challenges of doing business on the West Coast
  • The community's expectations of mining companies


Explore West Coast (2013)

In July 2011, the then West Coast MP Chris Auchinvole hosted a West Coast Minerals Symposium at Parliament. Representatives from Minerals West Coast, Development West Coast, and the three district councils were among the 30-plus strong West Coast business  delegates that met with Prime Minister John Key, eight Government Ministers and 17 other Members of Parliament. 

Jointly funded by Development West Coast in partnership with GNS Science, Minerals West Coast and the four West Coast Councils, the West Coast Minerals Resource Assessment was formally presented to the then Acting Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon. Hekia Parata. This provided an opportunity to present key findings in the report and to discuss options to promote minerals investment in the region. 

The assessment found there was potential for the West Coast minerals industry to almost triple its annual production value in excess of $2.4 billion by 2026. 

Minerals West Coast and Development West Coast has since produced Explore West Coast, a new prospectus about the minerals potential on the West Coast. The prospectus was launched at the Prospectors’ and Developers’ Association convention in Toronto, which is  attended by representatives from over 120 worldwide mining companies.


Rare Earth Element Project

DWC has co-funded a research project with the Ministry of Science and Innovation to develop a new innovative technique to beneficiate, or separate, mineral rich West Coast sand. 

The project will ascertain whether it is commercially viable to beneficiate high value minerals, like titanium and zirconium, from the tailings of current gold dredge operations and other river and seabed ore deposits. DWC has identified the project as one of a number of tools that could assist West Coast companies involved in mining and the processing of minerals. 

The research is being undertaken by Dr Jimmy Bester who has spent the last 10 years researching mineral ores. Over the last two years he has collected and analysed mineral rich beach sand deposits from a number of ore bodies. 

If successful it is hoped the process will enable current West Coast dredgers and mineral mining companies to further process the tailings from their dredging activities, maximizing their profits. It will also raise awareness of the high value of the West Coast’s lesser known minerals.