West Coast

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The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research (NZIMMR) was the third successful proposal to receive funding through MBIE’s Regional Research Institutes initiative.

Based in Greymouth, the new institute will explore using innovative research and manufacturing techniques to convert minerals into higher-value products.

The Government has agreed to provide funding of $11 million over four years for the new institute. With additional funding from industry, it will operate as a private, independently governed organisation.

The institute is initially exploring three research areas: purifying rare earth elements for use in magnets and lasers, extracting tungsten from gold mining waste and developing a carbon foam pilot plant.

The research has the potential for significant commercial outcomes and economic benefits for the West Coast region including jobs, new infrastructure and export revenue.

HenleyHutchings and CRL Energy were engaged to produce a “Fact Book” to provide both a commercial and technical view of each of the three research areas (carbon foam, tungsten and rare earth elements) in terms of their commercial attractiveness at each stage in the added value pathway, and to assess New Zealand’s relative competitive position/standing within the global industry. It is intended that the Fact Book will be a fundamental tool in decision making, regarding which research projects should be undertaken by NZIMMR.  The aim was also to facilitate understanding, insights, questions, engagement and co-operation across the New Zealand minerals, materials and products industries.

HenleyHutchings role was to undertake desk top research and to undertake in-depth interviews with key industry stakeholders.  We project managed the whole work programme, including the elements being managed by CRL Energy, and were responsible for quality assurance.  We were also responsible for the design and production of the final fact book, which ran to over 300 pages.