18 June 2019
In the past month the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has received 25 new submissions about an application by Plaman Global Corporation and Plaman Resources Limited to buy Otago farm land to expand a diatomite mine. Four of these submissions are revised or additional submissions from submitters.
The OIO is reviewing the new submissions to decide whether any of the points raised are relevant under the Overseas Investment Act to the Plaman application. The OIO is sharing the new submissions with Plaman to enable the company to comment on the views expressed.
Plaman has applied for consent to buy about 432 hectares of farmland next to 42 hectares it already owns at Foulden Hills/Foulden Maar, near Middlemarch.
The Overseas Investment Act requires that people selling farm land to an overseas buyer must advertise the land within the 12 months before the overseas buyer applies to the OIO for consent to buy it. When advertising in newspapers, the property must be advertised in at least one edition and must be available for sale for at least 20 working days.
The Foulden Hills property was advertised on page 52 of the Otago Daily Times on 4 February 2017.
As part of the application, Plaman has also applied to the OIO for consent to restructure its shareholding so that Plaman Resources’ main shareholder, Malaysian-based Iris Corporation Berhad, will exit Plaman.
Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark will decide on the application once they receive all necessary information.
In 2014 the OIO approved Plaman to buy 42 hectares of land at Foulden Hills so it could carry out tests to determine whether development of a large-scale black diatomite mining operation was viable. At that time the OIO was not aware of fossils on the land.
More information is available in our news item from 21 May 2019.
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