19 Mar 2012

Newmont releases property policy for Waihi

12:36 pm on 19 March 2012

A mining company has released a policy aimed at maintaining property values in the Bay of Plenty town of Waihi in anticipation of the development of a new underground mine.

In August last year, Newmont Waihi Gold announced plans for the mine which would involve digging under 30 residential properties.

Newmont Waihi Gold released its property and community investment policy to community group representatives and the regional council on Friday.

A group of residents, council representatives and the mining company will govern the policy, which includes the establishment of an independent review panel to act as an ombudsman on property matters.

The policy also includes the mining company offering to pay the difference between a property's market value and a lesser offer of purchase for up to 20 properties that meet the criteria per year.

Newmont Waihi Gold's external affairs manager Sefton Darby says the policy will come into effect immediately - even though resource consent applications for the proposed project have not yet been lodged.

"It's a bit of a risk for us to launch a property policy a year and a half before we know whether we're going to have a mine or not, but that was one of the major demands for the community.

Mr Darby says the resource consent applications for the proposal will be lodged within the next few weeks.

The policy was developed after Newmont Waihi Gold announced its plans to replace the existing Favona and Trio mines in the town's east with a new underground mine called Correnso.

The proposed plans could see gold and silver mining extended in Waihi until at least 2020.