GNS Science leads New Zealand's largest minerals research programme. We seek to improve understanding of formation processes, develop more effective exploration and extraction practices, assess resource potential, and better define mineral resources related to Maori interests.

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals has a major focus in its minerals strategy of improving knowledge through data acquisition to identify New Zealand’s mineral resources on land, as well as offshore within our EEZ and Extended Continental Shelf. Our leading role is in geological mapping and deploying deep-sea expeditions, supplemented by our specific capabilities in assessing the size and grade of mineral resources, developing tools to locate these resources, and formulating models to predict their occurrence. These are essential contributions for the implementation of MED’s strategy, and for the identification and management of these resources.

The benefits that will accrue from our research programme include:

  • growth of New Zealand’s economy from increased royalties, taxes, regional employment, improved export earnings and import substitution derived from sustainable and environmentally responsible extraction of minerals.

Current projects that Mineral studies contribute to are:

Oceans Research

  • SMS Mineralisation along the Kermadec Arc - Cornel de Ronde. Investigation of SMS deposits along the Kermadec Arc to assess mining potential
  • SMS Mineralisation in Frontier Regions - Fabio Caratori-Tontini. Investigation of SMS prospectivity in regions such as the Havre Trough, Colville Ridge, Kermadec Ridge, Fiordland subduction zone, and TVZ lake floors

Regional Geology research

  • Regional Context of Onshore MineralsHamish Campbell. Determination of key geological factors that can be used to develop ore deposit formation models and enhance prospectivity of mineralised terranes in New Zealand.
  • Exploration MethodsTony Christie. Development and application of innovative geoscientific methods for mineral exploration, through an understanding of deposit signatures, within-deposit ore vectors, and dispersion processes in a New Zealand context.
  • Origins of Westland Gold Deposits (Rutherford Fellowship) – Rose Turnbull. Does high flux granite formation in ancient Westland provide a guide to future development of the TVZ, and an explanation for Westland gold deposits

 Mineral Wealth of New Zealand and its Exclusive Economic Zone.