Dairy Call In Right Decision. Government Must
Now Abandon Mining Review
Environment Minister Nick Smith has made the right decision by calling in the cubicle dairy farm proposal in the Mackenzie Basin.
Nick Smith points to the fragile and iconic nature of the environment, the importance of freshwater quality to the Government, and the high level of public interest
“These are precisely the reasons why the Government should “call in” and abandon its review of mining on the Coromandel Peninsula and in National Parks”, says Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Denis Tegg.
“One average- sized underground gold mine produces around 1,000,000 m³ of highly toxic waste (tailings) containing copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, and arsenic. Newmont Gold’s tailings dam at Waihi contains 40,000,000 m³ of hazardous waste from its open cast gold mine. ”
“The danger to freshwater quality and to the fragile and iconic landscapes of the Coromandel from mining is comparable to and perhaps greater than the threats to the Mackenzie Basin from the dairy proposal”, said Mr Tegg.
“Watchdog members have been talking to thousands of visitors and locals this summer, and there is huge public concern at the prospect of more mining on the conservation land and coast of the Coromandel.”
Nick Smith recently visited the abandoned Tui mine on the Coromandel which contains just 600,000 m³ of mine waste yet it is New Zealand’s most toxic site. Attempts at a cleanup are estimated to cost at least $10 million.
The volume of Newmont Waihi Gold’s poisonous tailings is 7000% larger than the Tui mine, and its hazardous waste must be contained in perpetuity and never allowed to escape into the environment.
“If the Government is consistent and really serious about protecting water quality, protecting outstanding and fragile landscapes, and is listening to public opinion, it will abandon its mining review, and its obvious intention of opening up the Coromandel Peninsula to highly hazardous gold mining activity.” said Mr. Tegg