Golden cel­e­bra­tion

Waihi Leader - - Front Page - By MAX CHRISTOF­FERSEN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

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.”

PHO­TOS: DAR­WIN DECENA

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