Today a group of us went for a bushwalk and scaled down a cliff to reach the back of New Talisman’s mining operation – the site known as the Portal Pad. We stood outside their fencing to bear witness, and record what is happening.
New Talisman are still locking a now completely unnecessary gate at least 50 metres from the site under the guise of “health and safety”, which means it’s impossible for any members of the public to see in from there. So, this is what we had to do.
This area of the mountain was fragile, recovering ecology, coming back to life after years of destructive mining. It has now been taken backwards, and returned to an industrial mining operation again.
There are generators, a ventilator system, a permanent site office, full underground communications, wifi, a second gate, security fencing around the entire perimeter, a digger, major timber piles, a full-time security presence, 16 mounted cameras, and the workers have already progressed hundreds of metres underground.
ALL of this activity is taking place under the banner of *prospecting*, which is a so-called permitted activity under the Hauraki District Council’s district plan, apparently allowing 5kg samples to be taken from the mine.
So what does that mean? It means the company have not triggered their 2 year resource consent yet, and so are not bound by the conditions that pertain to it. They can get all their preparation done for their bulk sampling without using up any of that 2 year period, or needing to have a Traffic Management Plan in place. It means the regulatory framework is utterly skewed in favour of mining, and not even sensitive, recovering conservation land is safe! We won’t have it!
Once they start bulk sampling, New Talisman plan on taking 100,000 tonnes of ore per annum out of the mountain, over a 2 year period. And, according to them, that is just the beginning.
We WON’T have it!
Stand with us at our Rally for the Mountain on September 2nd, and say no to mining on conservation land!