6 Aug 2014

Waihi gold mine secures funding

4:25 pm on 6 August 2014

Mining company Newmont Waihi Gold has secured funding for an underground mine in Waihi.

It hopes to have the Correnso mine operating later this year or early next year.

The Environment Court last year granted the company a 12-year consent to dig for gold underneath about 45 homes east of the town centre.

Five parties, including residents and iwi, had appealed to the court after resource consent was originally granted by Hauraki District Council.

In April, Newmont completed construction of a half kilometre access tunnel, between 250 to 300 metres underneath the homes, to confirm the extent and grade of the gold deposit below.

It said the results were pleasing, so on Friday the firm's offshore parent company confirmed funding for the project.

Negotiations with the 45 affected homeowners over a $4 million property purchase programme are now under way.

A spokesperson for the Distressed Residents Action Team in Waihi, Collette Spalding, said the compensation package excludes homeowners who live right next to, but not directly above, the mine.

Ms Spalding said it's sad that Newmont's financial future is now secure, while some homeowners are in stuck in limbo.