16 May 2016

Protest temporarily halts gold survey

3:56 pm on 16 May 2016

Anti-mining protesters briefly shut down a gold survey site in Coromandel on the weekend, and called for an end to mining in the area.

Protesters in Karangahake want Newcrest Mining to stop exploring for gold.

Protesters in Karangahake want Newcrest Mining to stop exploring for gold. Photo: SUPPLIED

One of the world's largest gold producers, Newcrest Mining, has been exploring the Coromandel site for three weeks.

Police issued five protesters with trespass notices at the gold survey site at Karangahake.

The local conservation group Protect Karangahake's chair Duncan Shearer said about 25 people attended the protest at the weekend which involved a two and a half hour walk to the survey site.

The drilling rig stopped when the group crossed a health and safety perimeter, and remained off for the hour the group were on the site, he said.

Mr Shearer told Morning Report the company was drilling on private land that was 200 metres from the edge of Mount Karangahake - which was "far too close".

Karangahake Mountain

Karangahake Mountain Photo: SUPPLIED / John Fitzgerald

He said it is easier to stop the drilling now, than after the company has found gold. Gold mining does not have any part in an ecologically sustainable future for the Coromandel, he said.

"It's very exploitative, and we have seen the consequences to our environment and to our waters in the past where rivers have been contaminated, where we have sludge ponds left behind. We have to clean up the mess.

"We find it a very unsustainable industry."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs