Posted by Gold FM on 25/10/2012
The production blasts have started - have the AEP payments started? This was a question we were asked to get Sefton Darby, the External Affairs Manager of Newmont Waihi Gold to answer this morning.
Sefton said "the AEP (Amenity Effects Programme - which aims to offset reduction in amenity) has been going for sometime now so hasn't started, it's continued". He explained that "because it's based on measured effects it does move. Some people who are close to Favona will either not be getting payments or getting fewer payments and people who are closer to Trio will start getting payments or start getting more than they have previously been getting". He also said it's been identified that people are confused about where it is so Newmont is working on getting maps out so that people can see where it applies.
Different groups have been formed since Newmont announced their intention to mine under Waihi East last August. The Waihi East Ratepayers Group has just announced they have received their Incorporation Certificate and Brian Gentil asked if Newmont is still dealing with them. Sefton said that "ultimately we have to deal with anyone who comes through our front door but I don't think that we can forget that 1,278 people took the time to vote for the Community Forum, so what they say has a very significant amount of legitimacy and a very significant effect on Newmont and we have to balance that out with other groups". He went on to say Newmont are happy to meet with other groups but he will be discussing any conversations he has with other groups with the Waihi Community Forum. One of the things we got through consultation is that people are kind of tired of secret side deals basically", he said.
The Hearing for the Newmont Waihi Gold Golden Link Project application which was publicly notified for the submission process on Thursday 30 August has been set down to start on the 3rd of December at the Waihi Memorial Hall.
Submissions on the mining expansion proposal closed on the 28th of September and 501 submissions were received altogether. One of the submissions has now been withdrawn, so 500 submissions remain, and at this stage about 120 people have indicated that they'd like to speak to the Commissioners at the Hearing.
Sefton Darby said most of the submissions supported their application and the main issues raised related to noise and dust but a lot of submissions showed that people were confused about what Newmont had actually applied for. He emphasised that the project applied for is for "underground mining only" and doesn't apply to an extension of mining in the open pit which is where you'd normally think of noise and dust coming from. Another common issue is night time blasting. Sefton said "certainly we do a small amount of night time blasting in Trio at the moment. For Correnso, the application very clearly says that there will be no night time blasting. Newmont has not applied for any night time blasting slots, or any permission to do night time blasting".
Newmont indicated a few weeks ago that they would be contacting submitters who had raised issues prior to the Hearing to see if there was anything that Newmont could do to mitigate concerns. We received a question this morning asking when this contact is likely to begin and Sefton said "we're still at this moment reading the 500 submissions but we will be kicking off those meetings very soon". We need to get out and explain the project a bit more to the people who've submitted, he said.
All of the submissions received for the Golden Link Project and monitoring data reports from the last 7 years around vibration, noise and complaints that Newmont has supplied to the Hauraki District Council are now able to be accessed on the Council website.
If you'd like to know more about Newmont's activities, register for the free insulation they're offering, or contact them about anything else you can visit their website www.waihigold.co.nz or call in and see someone at the Golden Link Project Office on Seddon Street, next to the Waihi Memorial Hall.
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