Story: Mining and underground resources

Black sand beaches near Westport

Black sand beaches near Westport

A narrow strip of black sand occurs along the beaches near Westport. The sand is rich in ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) which is derived from rivers draining the Alps and concentrated by wave action on the beaches. Although a considerable quantity of ilmenite occurs on the beaches and raised terraces, it has not been economic to mine it for the extraction of titanium.

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GNS Science
Reference: CN32417/24
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'Mining and underground resources - Metals known but not mined', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2022)

Story by Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006