Thursday, May 30, 2024

Dunedin council buys fossil-rich mine site

Dunedin City Council has today announced it has reached an agreement with the Receivers of Plaman Resources to purchase the Foulden Maar site in Middlemarch, Otago.

Plaman Resources purchased the site in 2015 and went into receivership in 2019, with Goldman Sachs as the main creditor. 

As a condition of the sale, Plaman’s Receivers (Neale Jackson and Brendon Gibson of Calibre Partners) have surrendered the mining permits relating to the property, Council said in a statement.

The Council has confirmed its intention to preserve the property for environmental and scientific research purposes, with no intention to mine the property in any way.

The sale of the land was on commercial terms for $924,000. This is comprised of $864,000 for the land and mining permit and $60,000 for statutory entitlements under the Public Works Act.

Council Chief Executive, Sandy Graham says Foulden Maar was a globally significant site.

It is the world’s only known layered record of climate and environment from the early Miocene (23 million years ago) and is considered by scientists to contain New Zealand’s richest trove of fossils.

“The Council has been working since 2019 to protect the significance of Foulden Maar. We’re delighted to have reached this agreement, which will prevent any mining taking place and preserve this very special scientific and conservation site into the future,” Ms Graham says.

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