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Locals Appeal Barrytown Mine Consent

Questioning a resource consent decision allowing a mineral sands operation to proceed in Barrytown against much evidence to the contrary, the Coast Road Resilience Group (CRRG) today lodged an Appeal to the Environment Court.

“There’s overwhelming evidence from experts that indicate the TiGa Minerals and Metals operation would raise serious issues for the community and environment, vastly outweighing any purported economic benefits,” CRRG Chair Katherine Crick says.

The council's own consultant expert had said in the hearings that there was no functional need to extract minerals from that particular site, and raised concerns about the proposal.

The CRRG believes experts in hydrology, climate and avian management, among several other areas, were right in recommending the consent application to both the West Coast Regional and Grey District Councils be declined.

“Mineral sand mining on the West Coast is a relatively new industry, and the TiGa proposal is a complicated one with many uncertainties. The hearing involved grappling with technicalities, legalities and the many social, climate and environmental effects,” Ms Crick says.

“Huge public concern remains within the community, particularly with the many unknowns that cannot be resolved by consent conditions. We are seeking a judicial decision in the Environment Court to settle these complex matters.

“We’re engaging a number of expert witnesses, some who have offered their services pro bono, because they can see how devastating this operation would be to the rural community and coastal environment and wildlife in and around it.”

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In terms of economic benefits, the mostly offshore owners would gain at the expense of community wealth and wellbeing, wetlands, wildlife, climate and future generations.

“CRRG sees little public good from this industrial operation located in the heart of a sensitive coastal environment.”

There were nearly 200 submissions opposing the TiGa Minerals and Metals consent application, most from people who live on the Coast Road, “clearly showing they are unwanted and seen as an unwelcome intrusion in all our lives and on the environment,” Ms Crick says. She noted the CRRG membership had almost doubled since the consent was granted.

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