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Evolution Mining Withdraws from Puhipuhi

On Friday Evolution Mining reluctantly admitted that they are withdrawing from their exploration activities at Puhipuhi in Northland. They said it was the result of tests showing insufficient reason to continue and they would now ‘focus on other programmes’. The picture however is more complex.

In fact, Evolution’s withdrawal is a major success for the activists within Ngāti Hau and community-based organisations who have opposed moves towards gold mining at Puhipuhi for some three years, and since 2012 have challenged the Government's 'opening up of Northland for mining'. Evolution – a relatively new Australian company, well financed, aggressively buying up other companies, with no experience of starting up a new minefield from scratch – is the latest of a string of mining companies which have had their eyes on Puhipuhi.

Action Coordination Group has 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, pickets, occupations of drill rigs, road blockades and more, raising the concerns of Evolution and its investors.

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