Dec 21, 2011 – PROTESTERS SEND MINERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
This is the press release by Earthwatch Whangamata about a protest that happened in Parakiwai. Drillers are back in our precious conservation estate collecting information that may lead to mining. But Earthwatch Whangamata people sent a clear message that mining activity in conservation land is unacceptable!
Today a group of locals and regular visitors to the Coromandel have visited the gold mining rig which is once again in the Parakiwai valley, just south of Whangamata. The protest is being organised by Earthwatch Whangamata with support from Coromandel Watchdog.
“We are planning to send a very clear message that mining is not welcome in the valley or in other parts of the Coromandel. This is a area which is of very significant value. Not only is the area high in ecological and recreational value, but it is also home to the world’s most endangered species of frog, our native Archey’s frog.” says Rosemary Segedin, spokesperson for Earthwatch Whangamata.
Local residents and regular visitors believe that given the very unique conditions which exist in the Parakiwai valley, this is a area which deserves protection from the threat of mining and the damage to the unique environment which mining brings. The thousands of summer tourists are on their way, showing the real value of the Coromandel is in sustainable tourism. The drilling which is going on is only a few hundred metres from the Otahu ecological reserve which is protected under schedule 4.
“New Zealanders showed their opposition in tens of thousands last year to mining in our special areas and will be devastated to know that the mining companies have been drilling and investigating in many Coromandel areas non-stop since then” says Rosemary
Earthwatch Whangamata and Coromandel Watchdog urge the mining company and government to leave the Coromandel free from mining and to commit to the protection of species such as the rare and ancient Archey’s frog and its natural habitat for the future.
Nov 30, 2011 – Coromandel Residents Oppose Mining Survey in the Kauaeranga Valley
On Monday morning local residents and anti-mining group Coromandel Watchdog blocked Newmont mining activities in forestry and conservation land in the Kauaeranga Valley near Thames and then escorted them from the valley.
“We have discovered that Newmont is carrying out geophyscial surveys with a view to mining in the Kauaeranga Valley,” says Coromandel Watchdog co-ordinator Renee Annan. “The Kauaeranga Valley is a highly valued recreational area with over 80,000 people visiting each summer, many heading up to the world famous Pinnacles.”
Local residents stood shoulder to shoulder with Coromandel Watchdog preventing Newmont staff from entering an area where they had been carrying out ground resistivity tests which would identify potential gold deposits. The company staff then decide to leave the valley and were escorted out of the valley by 50 people waving banners saying “No Mining”. Former Green’s co-leader Jeanette Fitsimmons and Green MP Catherine Delahunty who live adjacent to the exploration permit supported the protest.
“We know that Newmont and other mining companies have applications or existing permits to explore a large part of the northern Coromandel, and part of this is in Schedule Four land, “ Ms Annan says.
“The public needs to know that the mining companies are still intent on mining Schedule Four land and that despite the victory in 2010, exploration activities cannot be legally stopped on this land. That is why we are taking non-violent direct action.Today’s peaceful protest is just the first of many unless Newmont leave our area.”
“Exploration is a huge risk because once a gold deposit is identified, particularly with the current price of gold, the mining company will continue to attempt to expand under or around the conservation estate.”
Ms Annan says that local residents are determined to protect Coromandel from any more mining and are very concerned about the toxic legacy recently identified in a subdivision in Thames.
“We have enough issues to deal with from historical mining, the last thing we need is Newmont expanding out of Waihi into our precious conservation places.”
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Oct 10, 2011 – Coromandel: Holiday Paradise & Native Biodiversity Haven – STILL WORTH PROTECTING
The Coromandel Peninsula is a unique area, encompassing both stunning beaches and bush which is deemed by the Department of Conservation as having outstanding wildlife habitat. Over summer the population explodes and people from all over the country and the world come here to make the most of the stunning environment and relaxing spirit of the Coromandel.
For over 30 years Coromandel Watchdog has worked hard to protect this special place from being compromised by mining. We achieved a great win in May 2010 when the government backed-down on it’s plans to mine Schedule 4 Conservation land. But Coromandel conservation land is still threatened by mining, so we are still working to protect it.
Southern Coromandel Still At Risk!
Newmont Waihi Gold in a joint venture with Glass Earth Gold have been exploration drilling in Southern Coromandel. This includes in the Parakiwai Valley behind Whangamata which is part of the Coromandel Forest Park conservation estate. Coastal paradises Onemana and Opoutere have also had drilling activity within Crown Forestry Land.
Onemana and Opoutere are small coastal communities north of Whangamata, beaches with exceptionally clear waters and home to the rare New Zealand Dotterel.
The entire area within the exploration permit held in the Parakiwai Valley is high-value conservation land, but it also includes two small Schedule Four-protected ecological/geological reserves. Newmont Waihi Gold have stated to the media that they would always consider mining under Schedule Four land from adjacent land.
Newmont and Glass Earth have been primed for further drilling and are very excited about the results they have been getting so far. We need to show them that they are not welcome to look in our precious places regardless of results.
Community Opposition Still Strong
Communities in Onemana, Opoutere and Whangamata have been expressing their strong opposition to these activities, supported by others on the peninsula and around the country. There has been peaceful protests in all three special places and the communities are committed to maintaining opposition should they come back. There is a local group, Earthwatch Whangamata and District, who work hard to protect their area from mining. But we still need YOUR help! Join us.
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