Gold prospects shining through for New Zealand with two new developments

Gold prospects shining through for New Zealand with two new developments

Posted on 11 August 2020


Straterra, New Zealand’s minerals sector industry organisation, has welcomed two exciting, recently announced gold mining developments in different parts of the country.

OceanaGold has been granted a mining permit allowing it to take further steps towards developing an underground mine in land at Wharekirauponga, near Waihi and Federation Mining has secured funding for its Blackwater underground gold project near Reefton.  It includes $15 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

“Both these developments are indicative of the prospects for minerals in New Zealand and gold in particular,” said Straterra CEO, Chris Baker.

“The gold price is currently at an all-time high and this is clearly driven by global uncertainty, a weakening US dollar and by Covid-19. Gold is an important component in electronics, telecommunications, medical diagnostics, many emerging ‘low carbon’ technologies and, of course, jewellery.   It is already New Zealand’s number one export to Australia.

“For OceanaGold it will be some years before mining occurs because of New Zealand’s robust regulatory environment, the engineering work required, community and iwi consultation and the care taken by companies in New Zealand’s modern minerals sector to ensure all is in order. The Blackwater project has a more direct path because a number of permits and consents are already in place, but consultation will be a key part of their development plans.”

OceanaGold’s next steps include further studies and assessments. The project will then likely proceed to a panel of independent commissioners or potentially a court process for resource consenting.  Blackwater is fully consented and has Overseas Investment Act clearance(s) but is still waiting for WorkSafe approval.

“The tough regulatory environment for mining in New Zealand requires patience and persistence on the part of mining companies”, Mr Baker said.

“A high bar is required for mining companies to establish justification to mine in a way that is acceptable to society and to ensure that the environmental impacts of the proposed activity are minimised. This is as it should be. 

“The jobs created and economic boost to communities that need it most are invaluable coming at a critical time in the current Covid-19 environment.  Blackwater, for example, has the promise of 140 jobs over 10 years – no small number for this small community.  The support of the PGF is warmly welcomed and a vote of confidence for the sector as well as recognition of the long association of the West Coast with mining.

“We look forward to the development of these projects,” Mr Baker concluded.

For background information on Wharekirauponga, please click here.

For background information on Blackwater, please click here.