Speaking at a post-Cabine' />

The prime minister says there has been too much "hysteria" in the media over the issue of mining in conservation areas.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet news conference at the Beehive this afternoon, John Key said his message to the public was not to jump to any conclusions.

He said there had been no discussions in Cabinet today and there will be discussions with environmentalists and the public when there was something concrete to discuss.

The Government last year did a stock take of minerals in the conservation estate, with the intention of taking parts of it out of the schedule in the Crown Minerals Act that protects it from mining.

A proposal is to be put forward soon, as the Cabinet discusses a mineral stock take, but several conservation and environmental groups say they have already learned which areas are on the list.

The Forest and Bird conservation body says the Government is planning to allow mining in 7000ha of high-value conservation land in the West Coast's Paparoa National Park, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Earlier today, Mr Key said that the public will have to wait for a discussion paper to be released to find out which areas of conservation land may be mined but he said he wasn't going to comment on media speculation about it.

Asked when this would be released, he said this afternoon that the document would be issued "in due course."

He said it was important to balance economic opportunities and the environmental responsibilities in mining in other areas.

He said this was not a matter of "absolutes- yes or no to mining," adding that some concessions had already been made in the past.

- with NZ Herald staff