Fireworks went off with a bang on Friday night at the Pumphouse as OceanaGold Waihi celebrated 30 years of gold mining in Waihi.
The first gold pour from the modern Martha Mine took place in 1988.
Since then more than 33,500 bars of gold and silver have been poured from ore mined from the Martha open pit and the underground mines at Favona, Moonlight, Trio and Correnso.
Martha Mines wanted to share that milestone with the Waihi community.
Senior Community Advisor Kit Wilson said Martha Mines had previously organised a fireworks display in 2014 to celebrate two million ounces of gold.
“We have been regularly asked since then when the next one would be. Thirty years of modern gold mining seemed like a good enough reason, especially as we had achieved three million ounces of production earlier this year.”
Go Waihi came on board to help with the organisation and local radio station Gold FM provided hits from 1988 as part of the build up to the countdown. The station played hits from 1988 for almost an extra hour as the launch was delayed by the rescue helicopter 15 minutes before the fireworks were set to light up the still night sky.
A motorcycle accident between Whiritoa and Waihi required emergency assistance for the rider and an hour later, with the helicopter on its way, the fireworks got under way.
“According to our pyrotechnics experts and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time in New Zealand commercial fireworks have been launched horizontally.
“Those people lucky enough to have a front row seat on the Pit Rim Walkway would have seen something really special as the fireworks launched out across the void before falling into the open pit,” Mr Wilson said. “We sponsor and assist lots of organisations in Waihi which do great and worthwhile work in the community, and we will continue to do so. “This event was at the fun end of the spectrum and it was great to see so many local people and visitors enjoying themselves.”