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OceanaGold Projects Update

OceanaGold Projects Update

Posted August 08, 2019
Environmental , Podcasts , Business

Kit Wilson called into the Gold FM studio for a chat about mining operations.

Last time Kit was in he talked about staff who live locally and the contribution they make to the Hauraki district economy. 
A listener called to say, “We are in a low economic area. It comes down to the census. People who earn the better money live elsewhere not in Waihi.” Kit understood that point of view and gave some statistics related to the census and how it is worked out. He discussed how the median figures relate to the income in Waihi, which also has a number of beneficiaries and retirees. 

Another response was - “People who don’t live in Waihi don’t pay for the infrastructure via rates. It’s great they contribute by shopping here but it doesn’t help with the infrastructure - sewerage, water, roading all coming out of other’s pockets.”

“People who own property contribute to rates,” Kit said explaining the number of properties (about 120 or so)OceanaGold own locally. “We actually do pay a lot of rates.” He spoke about the improbability of removing people renting their properties to house staff locally saying that while he accepts what the person is saying, he’s not sure it’s relevant. “Without a large employer in this town, or a number of smaller employers, irrespective of where the people are coming from who work at that place then any little town is going to be in trouble.”

Another comment came back asking whether it was the company or their employees who pay rates. Kit said OceanaGold pays around $850,000 a year. He also said that someone had stopped him in the street to say it was just as well they paid rates because the council works for you. “I had to explain, no, it doesn’t work like that,” he said, pointing out how the council sends them an account for work done on their behalf, adding that that’s the way it should be. The applicant pays. 

Another question asked - “Did the mining company have to apply to change the vent in Martha mine blowing out air instead of sucking air in?” The answer is yes. Consents for discharges, including the air coming out of a vent have to have a consent. Kit said it’s likely the the amount and intensity of the air will change soon. Listen to the full interview to hear more about how the vents operate. 

A blast last Saturday was a bit larger than normal (4.4). Sometimes blasts don’t go exactly as planned. Timing windows may change due to extraordinary circumstances occasionally, but the company does their best to ensure this is not a regular occurrence. The consent conditions for blasts require blasts to be under a maximum of 5mm per second 95% of the time. 

OceanaGold is in a holding pattern at the present time in relation to the application to purchase two farms just out of Waihi. The judicial review later this year will be the deciding factor. 

Drill rigs are still exploring the Martha area and will be drilling until about Christmas. Kit will update the community as they go.

Click our podcast link to hear the full interview.