Thames Kauaeranga Valley

Exploration Permit: #52804
Company: Newmont Waihi Gold trading as Waihi Gold Company Ltd
Location: Kauaeranga Valley
Granted: 17/12/2010
Duration: 5 years
For minerals: Gold and silver
Area: 5704 Hectares

This permit covers the large green area in the upper right of the image below. You can also see the proximity to the other Thames permits (detailed in this same section of the website).

The stunning natural beauty of this valley is a great draw for trampers and mountain bikers with over 80,000 visitors every year.

Local residents recently discovered that Newmont Gold have been conducting Geophysical Surveys on Schedule 4 land as well as private and conservation land in the precious Kauaeranga Valley.

Permit map sourced from here.

Local residents adamantly oppose this activity and there have been several actions, such as this one below, and well attended meetings to inform everyone about the surveys and the future implications.

A declaration has been created, from the residents of the valley, stating the reasons why mining related activity isn’t welcome in their beautiful home.

Kauaeranga Valley and Thames residents block forestry road

This is what Newmont is allowed to do with their current exploration permit within the first 36months after it commenced (17/12/10):

Within 36 months:
-1(b) complete a programme of geological mapping;
-1(c) complete a programme of geochemical sampling;
-1(d) complete a programme of geophysical surveying;
-1(e) complete a programme of drilling for a minimum of 800m, or other such drilling programme as agreed by the Secretary; and
-1(f) provide the Secretary with a report detailing all work completed during this phase of exploration, including the submission of digital data.

After this work is completed they are then allowed to do further tests after which they can apply for a permit to mine for minerals.

Newmont Not Welcome

Prospecting and exploration is all about identifying sites for future mines. We feel that in order to keep the numerous destructive effects which mining creates from our precious and fragile area, we need to prevent Newmont and their contractors from gaining the information which could lead to a mine.

There is also no opportunity for public input at any stage of the exploration/prospecting process.

Local residents have shown that they are willing to take decisive action to disrupt the work of a company which has an appalling international reputation and, as the banners declared, is “Not Welcome” in the Kauaeranga Valley.


Many people have a special affinity for the Kauaeranga Valley, having enjoyed its great natural beauty in the past. If you would like to join in future actions, please email Watchdog or call Renee on 022 018 1764 and she will keep you informed. Even if you live up in Auckland, it is only a 1.5 hour journey to participate and help ensure this valley is preserved for future generations. No amount of money spent on restoration post-mining can ever amend the damage or restore what has been lost.

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