Oceana Targets Pauanui/Opoutere for Drilling
New Zealand’s largest gold mining company, Oceana Gold, are targeting the south eastern beaches of the Coromandel with exploratory drilling due to begin just behind the iconic Opoutere Beach.
The exploration permit, held by Oceana, covers 1490 hectares from the entrance to the settlement of Pauanui down to Opoutere. Both Pauanui and Opoutere are renowned east coast beaches of the Coromandel, Pauanui being a resort like settlement, very popular for summer holidays, Opoutere being smaller, and less well known.
“This is such a beautiful and loved beach, this area would be completely changed by industrial mining. The peace, the tranquillity that it is known for, all gone, all for the sake of a Canadian mining companies share holders.” says Augusta Macassey-Pickard, spokesperson for Watchdog. “And Pauanui is such a popular spot, with so many baches and visitors and tourists coming to the area every summer. Have these people, these communities been asked if they would welcome an industrial goldmine on top of them? No.”
The company last year applied for an extension to the duration of the exploration permit they hold over the area, and have recently been in talks with local authorities about beginning a drilling program there, which they plan to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Oceana Gold is intent on mining the Coromandel, recently announcing further mining under more homes in Waihi, drilling in threatened species habitat and outstanding landscapes and now right up against one of the Coromandels beautiful and iconic beaches.
”However, our organisation has strong support from our communities and will be peacefully protecting places like Opoutere and Pauanui from toxic mining activity. We need to reuse the gold above the ground rather than create more destruction in the environment. We have beaten them before, we will again. I certainly wouldn’t be investing in any mining projects on the Coromandel” says Augusta. “Oceana Gold have done enough damage in Waihi and should give up on trying to destroy any more of this beautiful area.”