Gold Fever? Battle over $1 b? Waihi Residents uptight?

Posted by Gold FM on 06/03/2012

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Waihi made headlines in regional and national newspapers last week with the New Zealand Herald printing two stories about Newmont Waihi Gold's plans to expand their mining activities.

One of the stories which appeared on Thursday talked about the Martha Mine open pit license variation to give the 'green light' to tunnel under the open cast mine and the other story which the NZ Herald printed on Saturday had the headline "Gold Fever: Battle over $1 b gold mine"

Local Seddon Street business owners who were spoken to expressed positive view points about Newmont's presence and mining extension activities, including 'Chook' from Fowlers Fashions, although he said he'd also like to see the company do and spend more in the town.

Residents living close to a larger than usual drill rig in Walmsley Road weren't as positive when approached and the usual annoying culprits, dust, noise and vibration came up.

On Saturday the Waikato Times printed a story whose headline read, 'Waihi residents uptight over Newmont delay'. It said Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga has joined Waihi residents calls for the promised property policy from Newmont to be released.

The article included a comment stating that the property policy document is intended to identify houses in the town that suffer structural faults due to nearby mining operations and give an undertaking to buy them back with no loss to the homeowner. It also said the approval given to drill down under the Martha mine will see tunnelling run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We'll be talking to a Newmont representative about the comments this Thursday morning as the information we've had from them so far hasn't included statements like those included in the Waikato Times article.

Residents we've spoken to who are concerned about the expansion plans to tunnel under Martha and Waihi East have said the release of the property policy as soon as possible is very important to them and they're disappointed and suspicious about the delays.