Arrest at mining protest

Hauraki Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Po­lice have ar­rested one pro­tester and removed eight who were block­ing ac­cess to a Karanga­hake gold mine in the Coro­man­del.

Protest spokesper­son Holly Dove said 33 peo­ple turned out to block mining ac­cess to the New Tal­is­man op­er­ated mine site on Crown Hill Rd in the Karanga­hake Gorge on Thurs­day morn­ing.

‘‘They have been phys­i­cally removed from the gate by po­lice but now we are in dis­cus­sions with the po­lice and we have a large group of peo­ple stand­ing out­side the gate,’’ pro­tester Holly Dove said. ‘‘We’ll be here as long as it takes, po­lice will be tak­ing away peo­ple soon.’’

Min­ers were un­able to ac­cess the site by foot or ve­hi­cle.

New Tal­is­man is work­ing in the his­tor­i­cally mined area, which is now in con­ser­va­tion land, af­ter re­cently find­ing sub­stan­tial gold re­serves. It has de­scribed the mine as a ‘bou­tique’ op­er­a­tion but has also said that it could em­ploy up to 100 peo­ple.

The Pro­tect Karanga­hake group is op­posed to the mining on con­ser­va­tion land, say­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal risks out­weigh any eco­nomic re­turn for lo­cals and could jeop­ar­dise tourism.

‘‘We strongly op­pose gold mining in Karanga­hake,’’ said Dove. ‘‘The con­ser­va­tion land is for peo­ple and the pub­lic and their cul­ture. There’s a com­bi­na­tion of peo­ple here to support and eight peo­ple have been stand­ing their ground out­side the mine site, link­ing arms and not let­ting the mining com­pany en­ter­ing for work to­day.’’

Dove said five po­lice of­fi­cers had turned up and were in dis­cus­sions with pro­test­ers. There were two ve­hi­cles of mine work­ers and se­cu­rity.

‘‘It looks like eight of us are go­ing to be ar­rested as we’re re­fus­ing to move.’’

She said the vibe was pos­i­tive. ‘‘Po­lice have been re­ally ne­go­tiable and there’s been a good con­nec­tion with po­lice and our com­mu­nity.’’

(FILE PHOTO)

Pro­test­ers at the New Tal­is­man op­er­ated mine site on Crown Hill Rd in the Karanga­hake Gorge.

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