Cape Foulwind residents lodge mine appeal

A public view point of the proposed mine site at Okari, Cape Foulwind. Image: Glasson Huxtable...
A public view point of the proposed mine site at Okari, Cape Foulwind. Image: Glasson Huxtable Landscape Architects

A group of Cape Foulwind residents has appealed a joint council decision to grant Westland Mineral Sands Ltd consent to mine a 25ha site near Okari Beach.

Westland Mineral Sands plans to operate a mineral sand mine for 'rare earth' elements including titanium on its own property at Okari Road, about 27km south-west of Westport.

The company was last month granted full consent by a joint hearing of the West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council hearing panel.

That decision has now been appealed to the Environment Court by Cape Foulwind residents Timothy Lang, Christine Lang, Suzanne Keppel, Terrance Gane, Lorree Wilson, Geoffrey Nicholson and Wallace Diack Trustees Ltd.

Map of the proposed mine site at Okari with opposing landowners marked in red. Overall 109...
Map of the proposed mine site at Okari with opposing landowners marked in red. Overall 109 submission in opposition were received, with 75 in support and 2 neutral. Image: West Coast Regional Council

They say Westland Mineral Sands provided inadequate information to the consent hearing on the noise effects on each of the appellants' properties, and had inappropriately relied on mitigation offered by "existing ocean noise" from the Tasman Sea.

"The adverse noise effects on the appellants are more than minor after 6pm on Saturdays and at all hours on all Sundays and public holidays," the appeal says.

They also note the stated benefits of the allowed mining equipment operating hours from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, "are disproportionately low" compared to the adverse effects on Okari Rd properties, particularly during the weekends and public holidays.

The 15-day appeal period ended yesterday.

- By Brendon McMahon
Local democracy reporter

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