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

 

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news