Despite reports that Newmont have cut back on exploration plans on the peninsula north of Waihi, this multinational corporation is still grasping at straws to keep a foot in the door. They hope to hold on to their current permits in areas all over the peninsula including near Whitianga, the Kauaeranga Valley and coastal paradises Onemana and Opoutere.
And then there’s their most ‘exciting’ prospect – the Parakiwai Valley behind Whangamata… This permit is jointly owned by Newmont with gold exploration company Glass Earth Gold.
While Newmont have been perpetuating stories of cutting back, Glass Earth have reported ‘encouraging progress’ in the current drilling programme in Parakiwai.
Glass Earth, of course, fails to mention the importance of the native flora and fauna that inhabit the CONSERVATION land that they are drilling on. They don’t mention the fact that the habitat that they are exploring is home to on of the most endangered frogs in the world: Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma Archeyii), nor that part of the land that is included in their permit is in fact supposedly protected from mining by Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act.
In this political climate it is unlikely there would be any hesitation to extend times on permits or grant new permits for any extractive industry – but we applaud Newmont’s attempt to step back from exploring in the wider Coromandel and suggest they back out completely.
The people and the frogs of the Coromandel Peninsula deserve better than an industry where the future of their employment and their homes is dependent on the fluctuating price of gold. Let’s focus on our sustainable industries and our unique wildlife to perpetuate our own stories of real community well-being not relive the boom and bust cycles of gold mining.
By Renee Annan