Anti-seabed mining group KASM will formally back the Environmental Protection Agency in opposing an appeal by Trans-Tasman Resources against the EPA's decision to refuse consent for the country's first seabed mining operation.

TTR applied to mine up to 50 million tonnes of black sand off the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight. The EPA declined the application last month.

KASM chairman Phil McCabe said he was disappointed TTR had lodged the appeal and the group would fight for all who opposed the mining application.

"More than 99 per cent of the 4800 submissions to the EPA opposed this project because of the environmental destruction, and the precedent it would create for seabed mining right up the west coast of the North Island - clearly something New Zealanders do not want to see happening."


Mr McCabe said the company's own press release had claimed that "the project has significant economic benefits, creating 250 direct jobs, 170 indirect, and will grow the GDP in the Taranaki regional economy by 3 per cent, or $240 million, year and will grow New Zealand GDP by $302 million per year".

He said: "The company failed to convince the EPA of economic benefits of any more than the $50 million tax and royalties, yet the Government and media continue to state the claimed benefits as fact."