21 Feb 2014

Call for impact report on mine closure

1:19 pm on 21 February 2014

A community board near the Macraes goldmine in East Otago is calling for an impact study on its planned shutdown.

In January the mine's owner, Oceana Gold, shed about a fifth of the mine's workforce and cut its expected life to 2017 because of a slump in the international price of gold.

Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chair Gerard Collings says the board has asked the Dunedin City Council to fund a research study on the effects of the closure.

"We're really keen to make sure that the community is well informed," he says, " because at the moment there's a lot of speculation out there about what the impacts are, and we'd rather have that as factual information as opposed to people just making up their own assumptions."

Mr Collings says the community needs to know the downstream effects on businesses and community organisations, like the volunteer fire brigade.

The Southern Amalgamated Workers' Union says an impact report would be a waste of money because half the workers come from Dunedin and it is clear that most will leave for Australia when the mine closes.

The mine is expected to close in 2017.

The mine is expected to close in 2017. Photo: RNZ