OceanaGold Projects Update
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Posted May 16, 2019
Kit Wilson from OceanaGold called in to talk about local mining operations. Listen in to the full Q & A interview by clicking on our podcast link.
We had a question asking about the difference between a tailings dam and a tailings impoundment. There have been documented failures of tailings dams overseas, which are causing concern regarding the tailings storage near Waihi.
Kit explained the difference saying their impoundment is constructed very differently to overseas tailings dams.
Brian Gentil asked Kit about Wharekirauponga and a resource consent for the area. There is no resource consent application in for Wharekirauponga, Kit said he can understand the confusion. It is a mining permit which simply allows OceanaGold to keep on doing what they’re doing. Because their exploration permit was about to expire and to create certainty and ensure they aren’t ‘claim jumped’ the company applied for a mining permit. An exploration permit cannot keep being renewed time and again. You either have to apply for a mining permit or relinquish your claim after a certain amount of time, which is the stage OceanaGold is at now with Wharekirauponga. There is still a lot of exploration work to be done so it seemed prudent to apply for a mining permit. This does not mean mining can happen. Nothing changes at this stage. If OceanaGold decides they want to go to the next step and mine underground they would apply for a resource consent.
Kit said they have no intention of mining on Conservation Land but would consider mining under it and stay within any conditions of a resource consent.
Brian asked whether the mining company would consider going underground from here, as in Waihi. Kit said that it could be from anywhere along the boundary of their mining permit or further afield.
There has been plenty of feedback after the decision to decline an application to purchase two farms was declined recently. Kit discussed the reaction with Brian.
Project Quattro came up in the decision document published by the Minister who declined the application to purchase the farmland. Kit explained more but was unable to narrow down the exact area of Quattro due to the uncertainty that the project would go ahead.
Brian brought up a suggestion that came through about Martha pit being used for tailings. Kit said it would take years of work to study if it was doable and there would be many cultural and environmental aspects to consider too.
Brian asked how long after a tailings impoundment begins to be constructed before the embankments can be used for productive land use? Kit explained how it works.
Brian asked about a rumour that OceanaGold had bought or are moving into the former PGG Wrightsons building at the top end of Waihi’s Seddon Street. OceanaGold has leased the building as they were hoping to make an announcement about a project prior to be turned down on the application to purchase the farms near Waihi.
Listen in to the full Q & A interview by clicking on our podcast link.