Would-be ironsands miner TransTasman Resources loses CEO

Tim Crossley leaving TransTasman Resources.

TransTasman Resources, the company that unsuccessfully sought resource consents to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in the southern Taranaki Bight, has lost its chief executive, Tim Crossley, who is returning to Australia.

TTR is appealing the decision by a decision-making committee appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority in June to reject its application to vacuum ironsands into purpose-built ships for export to steel mills in Asia.

The company had already cut back to a skeleton staff as it seeks to preserve cash ahead of what it hopes will be a reversal of the original decision.

"Tim's resignation is unfortunate but aligns with the company's previous announcements to preserve cash while it continues working towards achieving its marine consents to develop its Taranaki offshore iron sands project," said executive chairman Allan Eggers, who will now fulfil the CEO role. "Tim has agreed to remain available to the company's management on an 'as needs' consultancy basis."

In an email to BusinessDesk, Crossley said: "I do plan to be back on a consultancy basis. However, for a number of predominantly family related reasons, I do need to head back to Brisbane for 2015."

TTR's application was the first to be lodged under a new regime governing economic activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone and is backed by a consortium of Australian, American, Asian and New Zealand investors.

A second application, from NZAX-listed Chatham Rock Phosphate [NZAX: CRP], is currently under consideration with a decision due before Christmas. CRP plans to mine phosphate nodules in the EEZ on the Chatham Rise, with a decision due before Christmas.