Having announced a high-grade mineral resource at Wharekirauponga in February, we have applied for a mining permit to continue evaluating and engaging on what a potential underground mine might entail.
If granted, this means we have the right to extract the minerals underground (which belong to the government). However, a mining permit doesn’t mean we can mine. Any mining activity is controlled by the Resource Management Act, and any application for consents for new mining on this scale would be made in consultation with the public.
If we are granted a mining permit, our next phase of work will be studies and engagement to see whether we can apply to mine beneath Wharekirauponga in a way that that meets the technical, cultural, social and environmental requirements of the area. The area’s primary use is conservation, and everything we do on the conservation estate respects these values.
Like all the work we do, we’re operating responsibly at Wharekirauponga, and have firm development commitments that guide the project:
- We’ve ruled out mining on the surface due to the location and nature of the Conservation land.
- We believe we can enter from outside Conservation land and tunnel underground to the minerals, with all processing using existing facilities at Waihi.
- A Mining Permit does not give us the right to mine. Our next step is further study and engagement to assess whether this can all be done in an appropriate manner.
When OceanaGold bought the Waihi Gold Mine in 2015, we committed to investing to extend the life of the region’s gold mining industry to help sustain what is a vital industry for the Hauraki District and the New Zealand economy.
Our exploration programme in the Hauraki district includes Wharekirauponga, around 10 kilometres north of Waihi township, on the conservation estate. Exploration has been underway by us and our predecessors in this area for around 15 years.
This application for a mining permit is very positive for the Hauraki District and for New Zealand as it means further investment in the district in the years to come, and it offers the potential to help extend the life of our gold production at Waihi, an important industry for the town and the district and a vital export earner for New Zealand.
To learn more about the Wharekirauponga project: