Note asupra mineritului aurului in Noua Zeelanda
New Zealanders took to the streets by the tens of thousands on May 1, 2010, to protest a government proposal to open national parks and other scenic areas to mining exploration. News reports called the estimated 40,000 marchers in Auckland, the nation's largest city, the biggest public demonstration in New Zealand in a generation. In a country with an estimated population of 4.4 million, it was an overwhelming display of public sentiment
Mining is promoted as a way to boost local development. However, a study of some 100 rural communities in the United States between 1970 and 2000 that derived at least 20% of their labor income from mining found that they had done poorly compared to other rural counties. Mining counties had a slower growth in aggregate income, ranging, depending on the decade, from 25% to 60% slower than the national average for rural counties. Unemployment rates were significantly higher, sometimes three times higher. The boom-and-bust cycle and the short-term duration of many mines leave behind unemployed workers, often with only basic skills not competitive in other job markets. The slower economic growth, lower incomes, and higher unemployment rates are accompanied by slower population growth.
Local residents are determined to protect Coromandel from any more mining and are very concerned about the toxic legacy recently identified in a subdivision in Thames.
"We have enough issues to deal with from historical mining, the last thing we need is Newmont expanding out of Waihi into our precious conservation places."
But Newmont has repeatedly said any new interest is solely in underground mining. eg its Press release 15 March 2010 says "Newmont's exploration interest is in high grade deposits ...that can be mined ....by underground methods."
Some environmental protests occurred during the 1987 consenting process for further mine operations. In 2001, subsidence in the area caused a collapse of a house, and the operating company has recently agreed to pay compensation to about 130 households for various negative effects due to noise, blast vibrations and dust (Martha mine may test goodwill, - The Dominion Post, 2009)
Coromandel Watchdog says:...."Latest figures show true extent of toxic legacy from Coromandel mine Toxic heavy metal contamination to waterways from the Tui Mine near Te Aroha by acid mine drainage has been measured at an alarming 5000kg each year, even thought the mine closed nearly 40 years ago.
In 2007, 5000 kg of heavy metals -- zinc, iron, manganese and 100 kg of arsenic, cadmium, and lead was released from the Tui mine. The Tui and Tunakohoia streams which flow into the Waihou River, and from there into the Firth of Thames, are totally devoid of fish and invertebrate life and are unsafe for humans.
This annual dose of contamination is likely to have been occurring at similar levels since the Tui mine closed in 1973. Heavy metals are continuously released into the waterways from approximately 135,000 tonnes of mine waste (tailings) and two small mining tunnels.
"The alarming extent of the mining pollution is revealed in a March 2010 Assessment of Environmental Effects. Plans are being prepared to clean up the Tui Mine contamination at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $17.5 million," said Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Denis Tegg. "It is NZ's most contaminated site."
"When you compare Tui's 135,000 tonnes of tailings to the current 40 million tonnes of tailings at Waihi's Martha Mine, the potential threat to waterways is a very frightening scenario," Mr. Tegg said.
"Newmont Waihi Gold's Martha Mine has generated tailings approximately 300 times larger than those at the Tui mine. Using the Tui mine costings as a benchmark, if just 10% of the Martha mine tailings required similar remedial work in the future the cost to taxpayers would be approximately $500 million," said Mr. Tegg.
"Newmont has provided bonds of approximately $40 million. But only a $10 million bond will be available in the long term, and even this is "reviewable". About 10 years after mine closure, Newmont will hand title of the tailings dam to a local Trust and the mining company will wipe its hands of any further liability."
"If heavy metal pollution begins at Waihi any time in the next 100 years, taxpayers will be faced with an unprecedented environmental catastrophe, and huge clean up costs. This is why the wild beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula should remain protected from mining, and why new tailings dams should never again be allowed" said Mr. Tegg.
"There are many examples of toxic pollution being caused by modern tailings dams in the USA and in other countries with high environmental standards. The threat of the Martha tailings contaminating waterways is a very real one."
(presented by http://watchdog.org.nz/)