The West Coast economy is underpinned by mining and the minerals industry. The sector includes coal and gold as well as aggregates pounamu, decorative stone, limestone, and other industrial minerals.

Gold mining in the region is both alluvial recovery and hard rock. Stone and aggregates is a steadily growing sector with the product used for rail ballast, roading, construction and protection works. Decorative use and landscaping projects using New Zealand’s attractive beach pebbles are a future market.

Mining in New Zealand contributes too many sectors of the economy, including construction (limestone for cement and aggregates for concrete), energy (coal), transport (road aggregates), primary industry (coal and ironsand), agriculture (fertiliser) and manufacturing (industrial minerals).


New Zealand’s only source of bituminous coal is from the West Coast, with the coking coal price fluctuating significantly over recent times, the export coal market has been under significant pressure. However the domestic coal market remains strong with demand from a range of industries for West Coast coal.

Alluvial Gold

The alluvial gold mining industry remains strong, with a large number of permits still active in the region. The West Coast Alluvial Gold Miners Association and Minerals West Coast work closely together on issues surrounding this sector.

Diversification and Exploration

The minerals and extractives industry on the West Coast is currently in a diversification phase. With recent government funded aeromagnetic survey data available and exploration works targeting garnets and rare earths it is an exciting time for the minerals industry on the West Coast.

For further information on the minerals industry on the West Coast please contact us