30 Mar 2018

Community group says new Waihi mine could be bad for locals

11:59 am on 30 March 2018

A community group in Waihi fears plans for a new underground mine will cause havoc with people's mental health and drive property values down.

The goldmine in Waihi is changing hands from Newmont to NZ company Oceanagold.

The Martha mine pit Photo: 123RF

This week Oceana Gold presented plans to the Hauraki District Council to mine for gold under the open Martha pit.

Mining at the pit had stalled since April 2015 when a major slip and a rockfall affected the site.

The Hauraki mayor, John Tregidga, said the company had worked hard to strengthen the pit and said mining will create more than 300 jobs.

However, community group The Coromandel Watchdog said it could mean 10 years of blasting and vibrations under the town of Waihi.

Its spokesperson, John Drummond, said that would have a huge impact on property.

"Having a mine going on underneath your house 24/7 for a long period of time - the blasting and vibration, it really has a major adverse effect for people who live there," he said.

Mr Tregidga said he understood community concerns but despite the worry about property values being impacted "the reality is that that hasn't come about".