More than $500k damage at West Coast mining site

A truck and trailer at the mining site was pushed over and the cab smashed in. Photo: Supplied
A truck and trailer at the mining site was pushed over and the cab smashed in. Photo: Supplied

A West Coast mining company has been left devastated after hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage was done to heavy machinery.

The manager of the gold mining company, who requested the business remain anonymous, said he arrived at the site on Tuesday afternoon to find the gate lock had been cut and "all the gear was smashed up".

He said the keys to the vehicles were kept at an on-site office, and were stolen when the offender/s smashed through a window.

"They then jumped in a digger and used it to smash the other vehicles.

"There were three big trucks - 20-tonne trucks - a fuel tanker, a loader, and two or three diggers smashed," he said.

The offenders used a digger to damage and push over various heavy machinery, including this...
The offenders used a digger to damage and push over various heavy machinery, including this loader. Photo: Supplied

Images show a loader pushed on its side, a truck and trailer also pushed over with its cab smashed up and contents tipped out, a fuel truck with a smashed in roof, and a digger with its door and panels smashed in.

The manager said insurance investigators were yet to assess the damage, but he picked it to be around $500,000-$700,000.

"To replace them will probably cost over $1 million, but it depends on the insurance analyser."

He said he "felt awful" on discovering the damage.

"It's horrible because we need to mine to get all our costs covered, and I am not sure if insurance will cover the lost income," he said.

A fuel truck had its roof smashed in during the incident on Monday or Tuesday. Photo: Supplied
A fuel truck had its roof smashed in during the incident on Monday or Tuesday. Photo: Supplied

The manager said the offender/s also stole a digger battery and a couple of tools.

He said police had been to take finger prints and were conducting an investigation.

"They will let me know once there is any information."

He said a similar incident had happened in June at a nearby mine, so he was questioning whether the incidents were related.

"The people who damaged the machinery must be a really good digger operator because they was not much mud on the ground, it was very clean," he said.

"They knew what they were doing, so I don't think it was young people."

Earlier in the year, there was also a break in on the site where the offender/s stole roughly 100-200 grams of gold, valued at about $7000, he said.

NZ Police have been approached for comment.

A digger had its door and panels smashed in during the rampage. Photo: Supplied
A digger had its door and panels smashed in during the rampage. Photo: Supplied

Comments

Terrible indeed, but wiser heads might have had some security sensor or someone to stay on site. And leaving the keys on site--foolish in the extreme.

 

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