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James Hardie New Zealand has approval under the Overseas Investment Act to buy land to extract silica sand used in fibre cement products.

The company plans to develop the 61-hectare property at Kaukapakapa, in Auckland’s Rodney district, to extract and process silica sand for fibre cement products used in the construction industry.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark in December approved the land purchase by James Hardie New Zealand, which is part of the global James Hardie group of companies.

The company will invest about $9 million to develop the land. The land purchase will result in 4-5 new construction jobs to build the silica sand extraction and sand-washing facility in the first year, and the retention of 3-4 production jobs that will be transferred from another site expected to close in the next 1-2 years.

Other benefits include increased manufacturing of silica sand into fibre cement products, increasing market competition for fibre cement products, and reducing the time and cost to manufacture and transport fibre cement products to the market.

The conditions of the overseas investment consent require James Hardie to develop the land, not export the extracted sand, and carry out ecological mitigation and enhancement measures on the land as required under the resource consents granted by Auckland Council in June 2018.

Approval to purchase the land was required under the Overseas Investment Act because it is rural land over five hectares.

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