Special Report: Manuka Resources is a major step closer to having the final approvals for the world-class Taranaki vanadium titanomagnetite iron sand resource.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR),  Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR)  has received a pivotal invitation from the New Zealand Government to prepare an application for the Taranaki VTM project to be included in the country’s Fast Track Approvals Bill.

The project has 3.2 billion tonnes of vanadium titanomagnetite iron sand resource, ranking it as one of the larger drilled vanadium deposits globally.

A granted Mining Licence would allow for an initial production capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of VTM concentrate. This means the operation could produce up to 20,000 tonnes per annum of V2O5, making Manuka one of the largest aspiring vanadium producers on the ASX.

Vanadium’s main use has traditionally been in high strength steel, but as the world rushes to decarbonise, its use in safe, low-cost utility scale energy storage batteries could soon take over.

The VTM concentrate is additionally a lowest cost quartile iron ore producer and sits in the lowest quartile for carbon emissions.


Clearing hurdles

The Fast Track Approvals Bill was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament last month to provide a streamlined decision-making process for infrastructure and development projects with significant regional or national benefits.

The Taranaki VTM project received a mining licence in 2014 and environmental consents in 2017 but faced legal challenges for years.

But the election of a pro-mining government led by PM Christopher Luxon last October has ushered in a new era of project approvals across the ditch.

“We’re very excited to receive this invitation from the NZ Government to prepare an application for the Taranaki VTM project to be included in the country’s Fast Track Approvals Bill,” Alan Eggers, executive director of Manuka and chair of TTR said.

“2024 is shaping up to be a potentially transformational year for us and we look forward to working through the next steps at this world-class project.”


Fast timeline

TTR has already started preparing an application for the Taranaki VTM Project to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, with applications due to be lodged by 3 May 2024.

Under the bill, the Fast-Track Projects Advisory Group has been established, which comprises independent experts who will make recommendations to the relevant ministers, who will in turn decide on what projects to approve.

Manuka is also progressing mine plans and processing options for its Mt Boppy gold project, 43 km east of Cobar, and at its Wonawinta silver project, 100km south of Cobar in the Central West region of New South Wales.



This article was developed in collaboration with Manuka Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.