An Australian gold exploration and mining company is under scrutiny in New Zealand, accused of fraud in its application for exploration permits.
Greywolf Resources NL is being investigated by the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over three applications made by the company for petroleum and exploration permits.
SFO director dam Feeley told New Zealand’s National Business Review he has received information relating to the charges from the Ministry of Economic Development (MED).
“From the information received to date, it appears that false statements may have been made in support of these applications,” Feeley told the newspaper.
He said the focus is to determine the authenticity of certain statements made in the applications and, if there was false information, to determine who was responsible for making those statements.
“Maintaining the integrity of the regulatory regime, coupled with the considerable financial value of the permits, means that there is significant public interest in investigating this matter further,” said Feeley.
Greywolf withdrew its application for prospecting and exploration this week near Nelson on New Zealand’s south island for coal, oil, gas and other minerals, due to public opposition.
Other permit applications, including one for offshore oil and gas exploration off the Golden Bay coastline, would continue, the Sydney-based company said.
New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals said in a statement it rejects all Greywolf’s based on what it says is “deficiencies in financial information”.
Greywolf has a producing gold mine and has widened its interests to include coal, potash, oil and gas and plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange later this year.
Image: NZ Serious Fraud Office