Oceana Gold gets go-ahead

An Environment Court decision will allow Oceana Gold to begin work on its plans to expand its mine at Macraes.

The decision, issued by Judge Jon Jackson, enables the work even though Oceana has appealed some of the conditions of the resource consents granted by the Waitaki District Council and Otago Regional Council last November.

Oceana Gold plans to extend some areas of its operations and reopen areas previously mined.

The work will include establishing a new tailings storage facility, expanding some pits, reclamation and relocation of tailings from within a tailings storage facility, new waste rock stacks and extensions to existing stacks, and expansion of the Fraser's underground mine.

As its current consents with the Waitaki District Council require it to cease all mining no later than August 31, the court decision allows it to continue.

Waitaki District Council planning manager David Campbell said the decision allowed Oceana to get started on the work allowed by the new consents.

Oceana chief operating officer Mark Cadzow said the work under the new consents would be subject to present conditions until the appeals were resolved.

The company would begin with some of the roading work and work on the tailing embankment.

In the meantime, it was in "deep discussions" to try to resolve the appeals around the bond and "onerous" community conditions and mediation was scheduled for the end of the month, he said.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

 

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