New Zealand Seeks Comments on Great South Basin Blocks Offer

The Crown has previously notified its intention to hold a blocks offer in the Great South Basin in the near future. The purpose of this notification is to seek industry comment regarding the closing date for the blocks offer.

Crown Minerals has recently completed a 2D seismic survey of 3,200km in the region. It is envisaged that this data will be available to interested parties in August 2006. In addition, approximately 7,000km of additional 2D data has been re-processed and is available now.

It is currently proposed that the blocks offer will close in December this year. Before confirming this, we wish to seek comment from potentially interested parties on the proposed closing date.

Crown Minerals wish to ensure that blocks allocated from the bidding round are allocated within a timeframe that will ensure successful parties are in a position to actively commence exploration in the basin during the summer season of 2007/2008. Having regard to lead times for securing contractors, adequate time to evaluate the bids, and to allow bidding parties to present in support of their bids, we believe that any significant extension beyond the currently proposed close date will make this objective difficult to achieve. However, we are equally conscious of the need to have a bidding timeframe which will allow interested parties to assess the blocks and obtain financial and other approvals to bid.

Industry is invited to provide comments to Crown Minerals regarding the proposed close date, along with any other matters you consider relevant to the blocks offer process.

Direct any comments to:

Mark Aliprantis
Manager, Petroleum, Crown Minerals
Tel: 04-474 2834

The closing date for comments is June 21, 2006