Minerals Strategy Backward and Disappointing
Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki, a group with 40 years’ experience challenging gold mining, is describing the new Government Minerals and Petroleum Strategy as ‘backward and disappointing'.
“This is a lost opportunity to shift the focus to the re use of minerals from electronic waste. We hoped the Government had moved away from the contradictory rhetoric of sustainable mining of the environment and was ready to lead on what is known as “urban mining” in other countries,” says Watchdog spokesperson Augusta Macassey-Pickard. “This document is the same outdated approach of ‘mine more’ that we have been seeing for years. It is deeply disappointing that New Zealand continues to compromise our environment for gold when there is simply no need.”
“The Minerals Strategy talks a lot about minerals needed in phones and new technologies, but instead of looking to promote reuse and recycling from the vast electronic waste now being produced, its proposing more mining of the earth. The rhetoric around encouraging new mining, that it is sustainable, is hugely disappointing.”
Ms Macassey-Pickard said that although the Strategy refers to the Government commitment to a ban on mining on the Conservation lands the promised public consultation process to advance this issue is two years overdue.
“While we wait for action on that Government promise, the gold mining industry continues its drilling for gold on DOC land and a huge mining consent application is being planned for the DOC forest behind Whangamata. This Minerals Strategy is no help to communities because it has no sign of environmental protection and doesn’t adequately address climate issues. There is no clear signal to the mining industry that they are wasting resources on exploration in places like Hauraki/Coromandel.
“It is worrying that this document is supposed to inform the review of the Crown Minerals Act. It seems to continue the previous Governments approach – to promote mining, rather than regulate it. Government cannot have it both ways. They cannot talk about protection of the environment and still be fostering the mining industry.”
Ms Macassey-Pickard said that Coromandel Watchdog would be urging the public to make their views of this backward and disappointing Strategy known to Government.
“The time for business as usual while promoting double speak is over for the mining industry. The future is in re use of minerals, reducing support of industries with significant carbon footprints and we expect the Government to lead on this. Hard rock gold mining is totally outdated.”