Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Latest figures show true extent of toxic legacy

Latest figures show true extent of toxic legacy from Coromandel mine 28 April 2010

Toxic heavy metal contamination to waterways from the Tui Mine near Te Aroha by acid mine drainage has been measured at an alarming 5000kg each year, even thought the mine closed nearly 40 years ago.

In 2007, 5000 kg of heavy metals - zinc, iron, manganese and 100 kg of arsenic, cadmium, and lead was released from the Tui mine. The Tui and Tunakohoia streams which flow into the Waihou River, and from there into the Firth of Thames, are totally devoid of fish and invertebrate life and are unsafe for humans.

This annual dose of contamination is likely to have been occurring at similar levels since the Tui mine closed in 1973. Heavy metals are continuously released into the waterways from approximately 135,000 tonnes of mine waste (tailings) and two small mining tunnels.

"The alarming extent of the mining pollution is revealed in a March 2010 Assessment of Environmental Effects. Plans are being prepared to clean up the Tui Mine contamination at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $17.5 million," said Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Denis Tegg. "It is NZ's most contaminated site."

"When you compare Tui’s 135,000 tonnes of tailings to the current 40 million tonnes of tailings at Waihi’s Martha Mine, the potential threat to waterways is a very frightening scenario," Mr. Tegg said.

"Newmont Waihi Gold’s Martha Mine has generated tailings approximately 300 times larger than those at the Tui mine. Using the Tui mine costings as a benchmark, if just 10% of the Martha mine tailings required similar remedial work in the future the cost to taxpayers would be approximately $500 million," said Mr. Tegg.

"Newmont has provided bonds of approximately $40 million. But only a $10 million bond will be available in the long term, and even this is "reviewable". About 10 years after mine closure, Newmont will hand title of the tailings dam to a local Trust and the mining company will wipe its hands of any further liability."

"If heavy metal pollution begins at Waihi any time in the next 100 years, taxpayers will be faced with an unprecedented environmental catastrophe, and huge clean up costs. This is why the wild beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula should remain protected from mining, and why new tailings dams should never again be allowed" said Mr. Tegg.

"There are many examples of toxic pollution being caused by modern tailings dams in the USA and in other countries with high environmental standards. The threat of the Martha tailings contaminating waterways is a very real one."

Refs:

1. Assessment of Environmental Effects - Tui Mine

http://www.ew.govt.nz/PageFiles/14990/Tui%20Mine%20AEE.pdf

2. Tui Mine Remediation Cost estimates

http://www.ew.govt.nz/PageFiles/13588/posters.pdf

3. Martha Mine Bonds
4.
http://www.marthamine.co.nz/PDF/rehab_bonds_web.pdf

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured – Suspect Arrested:

Police apprehended Russell John Tully just after 5pm this evening following the armed incident in Ashburton this morning.

Canterbury dog section and AOS apprehended Tully not far from Lake Hood. No shots were fired although Tully will be treated for minor dog-bite injuries.

Tully is now in custody at Ashburton Police Station. More>>


  • 3 News Out-Link - Livestream: Ashburton shooting press conference from 5pm

  •  

    Parliament Today:

    John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

    Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

    Gordon Campbell:
    On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

    Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

    Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

    It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

    ALSO:

    More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

    The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

    Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

    Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

    ALSO:

    Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

    A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

    So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

    ALSO:

    Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

    A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news