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Reefton gold mine subsidy undermines DOC land

Dec 15 2019

The Provincial Growth Fund giving $13 million to a gold mining project under DOC land on the West Coast is a disgraceful waste of public money says Coromandel Watchdog, a group fighting gold mining in Hauraki.

“ We are appalled that the Provincial Growth Fund is being used to subsidise a dinosaur industry at Reefton. The old Blackwater Mine at Reefton cost the Government $3 million to clean up and now they are being funded to create more toxic waste” says Chairperson of Coromandel Watchdog, Catherine Delahunty.

“ What is worse is that the proposal is to mine under DOC land . The Prime Minister committed to protecting DOC land from mining in 2017 but we have seen nil action on this. Instead the PGF is being used to help Oceana Gold and a local mining company drill and tunnel under DOC land. Underground mining creates risks to the water table, relies on high use of fossil fuels and has the potential to create more toxic waste problems for the people of Reefton. The jobs promises cannot be guaranteed as the history of West Coast mining shows. Gold above the ground needs to be mined out of electronic waste not more environmental damage being done via a Government subsidy. “

Ms Delahunty said Coromandel Watchdog fully supported the PGF assisting genuinely sustainable and useful projects in rural communities and challenged the Government to act on promises to stop mining on DOC land.

“ The Government must stop funding dinosaur industries which fail to sustain communities. They have promised action to limit mining but are actually funding its development. In 2019 that is a very bad strategy.” ENDS

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