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Shock as company gets go-ahead in the Karangahake Gorge

Shock as company gets given go-ahead in the Karangahake Gorge

Extensive mining activity is due to start in the beautiful bush clad hills behind the iconic Karangahake Rail Trail.

New Talisman Gold Mines received an “Authority to Enter and Operate” from the Department of Conservation in August this year and - combined with their resource consent from Hauraki District Council - means it can begin its bulk sampling and trial mining program; mining around 600 tonnes of ore a month.

Hauraki District Council issued the resource consent without public notification and Karangahake resident Mark Beach, who has been watching the mining company trucking out material over the weeks past his front door and has found cracks appearing in the road has said he is angry locals were not officially consulted.

Iwi spokesperson Winn Brownlee of Ngāti Tamaterā said local iwi were strongly opposed to mining in Karangahake.

“Talisman Gold did come to see me and we objected to the mine, just as our forebears did. “They shouldn’t be touching anything close to our [river] as there is no guarantee that they're are not going to pollute our waterways,” she said.

“All our forests [and birdlife] should be coming back - it’s a place where everyone should be able to go to and is very significant to Ngati Tamatera.”

Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Ruby Powell said the consents should not have been granted.

“This area suffered drastic pollution from mining historically and is now recovering and regenerating.

“Today the area has a sustainable economy developing from people coming to enjoy the natural environment with many DOC walks and the Hauraki Rail Trail winding through the Karangahake Gorge.

The Rail Trail was listed as one of the 14 wonders of New Zealand on the 100% Pure New Zealand website, she said.

“Both iwi and locals we have talked to are opposed to mining in the gorge and the Hauraki District Council and the Department of Conservation should never have given the New Talisman project the go-ahead.”

“We have had pledges of support from all over the globe of people wanting to support us, locals and iwi in our bid to save the gorge and we will use all peaceful means available to do so,” Said Powell.

A social media and mass emailing campaign has begun to ask the candidates standing for the Coromandel Electorate to take a stance on mining in the Karangahake Gorge, there is a protest planned for this coming Sunday 3pm and a public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 16th September at 6pm in the Paeroa War Memorial Hall.

ENDS

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