Consent granted for Newmont mine in New Zealand

May 7, 2013

Newmont Waihi Gold was granted consent to begin construction of the Correnso underground gold mine in Waihi New Zealand. It will be New Zealand’s first mine directly below a residential area.

Conditions include restrictions on the magnitude and number of blasts, Radio New Zealand reported.

Newmont Waihi Gold already operates the Martha, Favona and Trio mining operations in Waihi.

The company said the mine is valued US$200 million.

According to the company an area between 130 m and 350 m (426 ft and 1,150 ft) below the surface will be mined for ore. Construction of the mine is expected to start in mid-2013 and it could operate until the end of 2020.

Commissioners appointed by Hauraki District Council to hear and determine the land use consent application by Newmont Waihi Gold to undertake mining works within the Golden Link Project Area (including the Correnso Underground Mine) have released their decision.

A residents’ group opposing the mine say affected homeowners feel short-changed by the decision.

Collette Spalding, spokeswoman for the Distressed Residents Action Team, which represents about 80 households, said mining should not be permitted under private homes. Spalding said the mitigation offered by Newmont, through purchasing some properties and offering top-up payments to increase the purchase price of others, was inadequate.

She said the top ups were distorting the property market, and those selling homes were still likely to have to put in extra money to buy a similar property elsewhere.

There were already ongoing issues with seeking compensation for those affected by the existing Martha, Favona and Trio mines, she said.
The group had not yet had considered whether they would appeal against the decision, Spalding said.

EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell said the mine would provide continuity for mine workers as current operations wound up. “They’ll be able to continue what they’re doing, and I think there'll be a bit of growth out of it.”'

He said the consent process was robust and had taken into account the interests of the business, residents and the environment.
“It’s really important that there’s a balanced and transparent process, and I think this one seems to have been.'”



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