OceanaGold Projects Update
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Posted July 24, 2019
Kit Wilson from OceanaGold called in for a chat with Brian Gentil about local operations.
Brian asked whether the steam coming out of the vent on the south wall in Martha pit is causing the misty conditions that hover over the mine sometimes? Kit spoke about the vent shaft on Union Hill and how the running joke at the local fire brigade is that visitors think the steam is a fire because it’s coming out so quickly. The steam coming out of the bottom of Martha pit is nowhere near as fast as it could be at present but will speed up in a couple of weeks when more air is pushed out of the vent. “Yes, it is partially contributing to the misty conditions above the pit.” Kit went on to say that it’s certainly not contributing to the sort of pea soup we had yesterday or the fog conditions we have in the Waihi Basin.As part of Project Martha OceanaGold is mining under the south wall towards that part of the pit underground and as they move that way they will need to blow more air out. Kit explained more about how the system will work, adding that it’s just warm air that is condensing when it hits cold air that is coming out of the vent.
Brian asked for an update about the water level at Wharekirauponga near Whangamata. Drilling has commenced again after a dry summer and autumn caused drilling to cease. They’re still finding some interesting results but there is about another 2 or 3 years worth of drilling and nothing is going to happen quickly as there’s still a lot of work to do to figure out what is at Wharekirauponga. Because it’s DoC land there are constraints and rigorous consent conditions which the company complies with.
Brian asked whether there is any word about the judicial review OceanaGold has asked for due to their application to buy two Waihi farms for tailings storage impoundments being turned down? It’s a wait and see at present until October.
Last time Kit and Brian talked they discussed staff living locally. A listener called to say 87% of staff living locally seemed to be manipulating data and wondered how many lived in the rateable area of Waihi and paid rates locally? Kit gave a comprehensive explanation about how for him personally most of what he spends is in Waihi. He suggested there is economic benefit from having a large employer in the town, no matter who it is, and said OceanaGold paid somewhere between 850 and 900 thousand dollars in rates.
A Drone Zone is an interesting idea that OceanaGold has come up with that Brian asked about. Kit talked about how they presently use a drone for photography and video but may use drones for other uses in the future. They have also had requests from people wanting to fly their drone over and into the Martha pit. If you want somewhere that you can legally fly a drone and fly at below sea level OceanaGold is saying while there is no work happening in the pit, yes, you can fly in their Martha Pit Drone Zone. It’s worth remembering that if your drone crashes you won’t be able to retrieve it from inside the Martha pit area. “If you crash your drone in our open pit, that’s it - it’s all over,” Kit said.
Brian asked about Trio mine and whether exploration or production blasts were taking place there and Kit explained what is happening at Trio after dewatering at depth in Correnso occurred. Brian asked about targets for extracting gold and silver? Although no where near what was being extracted last year the company is on its ‘market guidance’ and heading to where they need to be for the end of the year.
Click our podcast link to hear the full interview with OceanaGold Senior Community Advisor Kit Wilson and visit www.waihigold.co.nz for more information and contact details.