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The Mining Operations

The Mining Operation

The well known black sand beaches sweeping down the west coast of the North Island are the sites of New Zealand’s greatest known reserves of ironsand. Its potential for commercial use was recognised from the early days of European settlement. This black ironsand was formed 2.5 million years ago from rock deposited on the coast by volcanic activity in the Taranaki region. The sand contains mainly ironsand (titanomagnetite) and lime-soda feldspars. Over the centuries, the heavy dark ironsands have been transported by ocean currents along the coast and deposited on beaches, forming dunes of up to 90 metres high. After extensive trials, the New Zealand Steel Mill at Glenbrook opened in 1970 with an ironsand mine located at the mouth of the Waikato River. The company also has a mining site at Taharoa, 150km south of Auckland and a few kilometres south of Kawhia Harbour. This ironsand deposit covers 1,600 hectares making it the largest in New Zealand. The ironsand from Taharoa is exported to Japan, South Korea and China, where it is used to assist in prolonging the life of the brick lining in blast furnaces.

The History of Ironsand

... coast and deposited on beaches, forming dunes of up to 90 metres high. After extensive trials, the New Zealand Steel Mill at Glenbrook opened in 1970 with an ironsand mine located at the mouth of the Waikato River. The company also has a mining site at Taharoa, 150 kms south of Auckland and a few kilometres south of Kawhia Harbour. This ironsand deposit covers 1,600 hectares with estimated reserves of 300 million tonnes making it the largest in New Zealand....

Looking after the Environment

The production of steel at New Zealand Steel is a unique and innovative process, that uses many of the resources found in the local environment including air, water, electricity, coal, ironsand and the land on which the mill is located. In addition to the Glenbrook steelmaking operation, the New Zealand Steel business includes two ironsand mines and a beam fabrication plant (Steltech). As with any industrial or mining activity, New Zealand Steel’s activities have an effect on the environment. The company takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and has demonstrated commitment to the environment by implementing a formal Environmental Management System (EMS) which aims to avoid or minimise the environmental effect of its operations. In this paper, we’ll explain the concept of an Environmental Management System and why implementing one is so important.