There is about 15 billion tonnes of coal reserve in New Zealand today. About 52 per cent of this estimated reserved quantity is under the economically recoverable classification (Coal Association of New Zealand, 2009). The South Island which also hosts the Otago area is well known for the production of lignite which is of low grade. Additionally, this form of coal accounts for only 8 per cent of the total production of coal in New Zealand.
The Solid State is the largest producer of coal and is entirely owned by the state to assist in the production of this commodity in the 45 recognised mining points spread across New Zealand. The company carries out mining activities for and on behalf of the state. As mentioned earlier, Waikato is the chief location of the coal mines and is the main provider of coal in New Zealand steel and other manufacturing industries. The mines which are located at the south mainly provide coal supplies to suffice the needs of the domestic industries while the West Coast reserves are mainly meant for export purposes (Solid energy New Zealand ltd, 2002).
The geology of coal mining and production processes in New Zealand is carried out by Crown Minerals. It has the mandate of documenting the potential of coal mining in New Zealand, the properties as well as the classification of the coal mined. Reports which are relevant for the purposes of tracking down the supply of this form of energy are also kept by Crown Minerals. In cases where exploration of the resource is needed, all the documented facts are carried out and kept by Crown Minerals. Accounts on coal field geology have been published by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences among other organisations. The reports are very important as far as the study, exploration and mining of coal resources in New Zealand is concerned.
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