February 22, 2016
Taharoa ironsands on sale block
Future earning for Maori landowners on the Waikato west coast could be in doubt with New Zealand Steel's Australian owner, Bluescope, putting its Taharoa ironsands mining operation on the sale block.
The company has a 70-year-lease with Taharoa C Incorporation to mine the sand, which is used at the Glenbrook steel mill and exported to mills in Asia.
It tried to sell the operation in 2008 to a Hong Kong buyer but was knocked back by the Overseas investment Office because the ironsands were on sensitive land and the sale would not produce substantial and identifiable benefit.
Bluescope declared a A$47.1 million first half year loss on underlying earnings before interest and tax for its New Zealand operations,citing the falling value of steel and iron ore.
It also wrote off the value of its fixed assets at Taharoa, which it put at A$162.7 million.
This year it expects to lose between NZ$25 million and $30 million this financial year unless the ironsand price goes over US$47 a tonne.
It also expects to double production to more than 3000 kilotonnes.
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