Google Image Shows Scale of Mining Impact
Back in March 2010, Minister of Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee minimised mining’s potential impact on Schedule 4 land by saying the area affected would be like ‘a postage stamp on Eden Park.’ The original remark may have been a foolish one, but the comparison of the size of the real-life impacts of modern gold mining with a known landmark like Eden Park is actually very useful.
Using Google maps of identical scale Watchdog produced an image which places Eden Park alongside Newmont’s Waihi gold mine. The Waihi image on the left shows the open pit, the tailings dam containing 40 million tonnes of hazardous waste, processing facilities and waste rock dumps.
“The image reveals that when looking at real-life mining impacts, it is Eden Park which is the tiny postage stamp, when compared to the massive scale of this gold mining operation,” explained Watchdog member Denis Tegg. “The Waihi mining operations are equivalent in size to around 70 Eden Parks. In fact, Eden Park’s South Stand is about 10 meters lower than the height of the wall propping up the tailings dam at Waihi.”