Bathurst Resources is still working through what the impact will be for their operations at Stockton, and how many staff will be needed for care and maintenance and environmental monitoring.
Visits to alluvial sites O.K during shut down but mining not allowed
Alluvial miners should seek advice from WorkSafe and from local authorities such as regional councils regarding their obligations for environmental monitoring and the ability to visit sites for security reasons while New Zealand is in lockdown. MBIE officials told Minerals West Coast they are working through what obligations miners will have to fulfil in this time but will most likely defer to the judgement of authorities like WorkSafe, the Ministry for the Environment and regional councils. West Coast Goldminer’s Association president, Brett Cummings, said there will be serious consequences for anyone mining during this time, and would not recommend “pushing it”, but considers visits to mine sites for monitoring environmental issues and security essential, especially in the event of heavy rain or floods so water quality can be monitored and remedial measures can be taken.
Conservation mining ban off the table till after election
The issue of mining on conservation land will no doubt take a back seat as the country grapples with containing the virus, nonetheless word that any decision on banning mining on conservation land (announced in the government’s speech from the throne in November 2017) has been kicked for touch till after the general election. Damien O’Connor said in the Grey Star last month there would be no moves on the issue before the election, and the Greens have since confirmed they are having difficulty in getting the ban confirmed. This gives miners time to make a case for the industry retaining access to the conservation estate.
Mining's temporary impact emphasised in submission on indigenous biodiversity
Minerals West Coast submitted on the indigenous policy statement for indigenous biodiversity in March this year. The submission covered all aspects of the discussion document relative to the mining industry and can be found in full here. Minerals West Coast’s submission included interviews with miners and landowners for their opinions on how their lives and incomes would be affected by losing control of their land or having it effectively confiscated by the government, and how in such cases compensation should be paid. The submission also included photographs showing the regrowth of native forest after mining operations have ended. It’s unknown when the final policy will be released.
New Zealand food production and well being stressed in submission on proposed coal-ban
A lack of cost-effective alternatives and the danger of sending emitting industries offshore and becoming reliant on food imports were front and centre in Minerals West Coast’s submission to the government’s discussion document Accelerating renewable energy and energy efficiency. The full submission can be found in full on our website by clicking here. The use of coal makes production of dairy, meat, and fresh fruit and vegetables possible, while staying competitive with imports domestically and competitors internationally. New Zealand produces food which boasts a smaller carbon footprint than most other producers in the world, and coal is crucial to doing so.
CPD events planned for 2020 but on hold for time being
With the measures being taken to contain Covid19 it is uncertain when we will be able to again hold CPD training evenings and events like the Minerals West Coast forum and field day. An evening session with Wayne Scott, chief executive of MinEx, the entity responsible for health and safety in the extractives sector, had been planned but has been postponed due to the nationwide lockdown. Once the lockdown is over, Minerals West Coast will reschedule this event. Wayne will give a presentation introducing the new training requirements and regulations for mine and quarry managers and supervisors. This will most likely be in May, but is subject to meeting and travel restrictions.
MWC's full time manager and part time writer. Come here for occasional news and musings on mining, conservation, and regional economics.