30 Jul 2012

Court hears Waihi mine expansion application

8:31 pm on 30 July 2012

Mining company Newmont Waihi Gold has told the Environment Court that two exploratory tunnels under parts of Waihi will not cause any unnecessary disturbance to locals.

The Environment Court is hearing an application from company to allow it to explore the viability of mining underneath the existing open cast Martha Mine.

A number of objections were lodged by residents fearful of damage to their properties, noise and vibration.

The company wants a licence to work underground 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It says the level of vibration from blasting will be perceptible but will not disturb sleep.

Blasting will be restricted between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and at times on Saturday afternoons.

The company says over its two year life the small project will generate only the equivalent volume of material equal to one month's work at the open pit mine.

Newmont says the project will increase its 400-person workforce by about 10%.

Its lawyer Rob Fisher told the court noise and vibration standards are set at conservative levels, which will be acceptable to the vast majority.

He says the social and economic effects will be positive.