Evolution Mining Sells Permits - Local Resisters Warn
ACTION COORDINATION GROUP
Evolution Mining Sells Permits to Canadians -
Local Resisters Warn the New Company Off
Media Release 22 April 2018
Canadian mining company Full Metal Minerals Ltd announced over the weekend that they have acquired the two Exploration Permits (EP51985 and 60018) at Puhipuhi from Australian company Evolution Mining, subject to approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Venture Exchange. http://m.4-traders.com/FULL-METAL-MINERALS-LTD-1410022/news/Full-Metal-Minerals-to-Acquire-Puhipuhi-Gold-Project-26396951/
“We are not surprised that Evolution is selling off their exploration permits,” said Vaughan Potter, spokesperson for Ngati Hau Anti Mining Group. “Evolution had been struggling to survive here, given the amount of local opposition. And we are ready to shake up the newcomers now.
“Full Metal Minerals, you are not welcome at Puhipuhi. Stay off our lands!!”
In fact, Evolution’s withdrawal has been a major success for the activists within Ngāti Hau and community-based organisations who had opposed moves towards gold mining at Puhipuhi for some four years, and since 2012 had been challenging the Government's plan to 'open up Northland for mining'.
“When Evolution Mining reluctantly admitted in June 2017 that they were withdrawing from exploration activities at Puhipuhi, they said it was the result of tests showing insufficient reason to continue,” noted Tim Howard, spokesperson for MineWatch Northland.
“Of course they were blurring the facts. Why else would the Canadian company want to buy a project that was as uncertain as Evolution had indicated? The strong resistance they received from tangata whenua and community-based organisations was the real reason they left. Any newcomers will also face strong opposition now.”
Action Coordination Group had been coordinating active protests resisting both exploration and mining at Puhipuhi, targeting Evolution Mining. Opposition to various mining attempts at Puhipuhi had begun with Ngāti Hau people since the 1980s, and later with Forest and Bird Society who named and challenged this round of ‘toxic mining’, and continued with other groups like Puhipuhi Mining Action Group. Action Coordination Group were the coalition that organised the public protests, pickets, hikoi, filming, road blockades, occupations of drill rigs and of Evolution’s bankers, and more, raising the concerns of Evolution and its investors.
"When the Action Coordination Group organised an occupation of the high rise offices of the nearest subsidiary bank of Evolution’s main investor CitiGroup in downtown Auckland in December 2016, Evolution reacted immediately. The sight of kaumatua, kuia, children, Maori and Pakeha, occupying their eleventh floor offices in downtown Auckland in December 2016, really shocked Evolution and their investors,” said MineWatch Northland spokesperson Tim Howard.
“Evolution sneaked in to our rohe by the back door, and now are trying to sneak out the back door – like rats. Ngāti Hau hapu were glad to see the back of them, even though they had not fixed the damage they created in our communities,” said Vaughan Potter of Ngāti Hau Anti Mining Group. “Puhipuhi mountain, and any minerals that are part of it, are ours to protect. We’ll not stand by and let it be damaged. That’s our warning now to Full Metal Minerals.”
Whaea Thelma Connor, speaking for Ngāti Hau Kuia Kaumatua, said, “With Evolution gone, we had hoped that our water would be safe from acid mine leakage and the other toxic contaminants from mining. Still, Evolution brought many in our communities closer together as we fought this threat to our waters. We will remain close in fighting the new mining company now.”
One of Evolution’s permits, now being sold, covers much of the Russell Forest beside Puhipuhi. “The Russell Forest is fragile, with enormous environmental risks. Without strong Government protection for the forest, it has been left to Ngati Hau and eight other hapu to enact a Twenty Year Health Plan for the forest,” said Allan Halliday, spokesperson for Ngāti Hau Resource Management Unit. “There is no way we will remain silent as a new company comes to create more damage for this forest that tangata whenua are protecting.”
“As we have said before, if any mining company tries to return to Puhipuhi, they had better be prepared to battle it out,” said Allan Halliday. “But we won’t be alone. Many good people helped us push Evolution out. We are sure they will be back to support us now against the Canadians.”
"Scaring off Evolution showed that flaxroots people acting together can successfully push back and win against mining companies," the Action Coordination Group stated. “We are committed to push this new company back now.”
Mauri tu, mauri ora!
The Action Coordination Group is a working coalition of Ngāti Hau Kuia Kaumatua, the Ngāti Hau Anti-Mining Group, the Ngāti Hau Resource Management Unit, and MineWatch Northland.