Coal and Lignites

The Southland region contains New Zealand's largest coal resource, comprising mostly of lignite deposits situated in the Eastern Southland plains, Waituna-Ashers area, the Ohai coalfield in central Southland and several minor fields. Southland has 60% of New Zealand's total in-ground coal resources (9,392 Mt) and represents 72% of New Zealand's recoverable resource (6,257 Mt).

Currently, Southland coals are mined on a small scale, predominantly for local industrial and domestic use. There is, however, potential for these resources to be employed in large scale operations, including liquid fuels conversion using the Fisher-Tropsch process of gasification technology to produce chemicals such as Urea and electrical energy from process heat.

More information can be found at the NZ Petroleum and Minerals website.

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