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29/08/2017 3:30pm

Earlier this morning a sinkhole associated with historic mining and approximately 20 metres in diameter was discovered on council reserve between the Waihi Rugby Club and the Martha open pit.

The sinkhole has collapsed into an unfilled stope in the historic Royal workings within the High Hazard Zone. Original records indicate that the historic stope was partially backfilled, but the upper 20 metres remained unfilled.

OceanaGold is working closely with the council to respond to the event.

Public safety is council’s first priority and the immediate area including the Pit Rim Walkway has been cordoned off. Access to the walkway is still possible next to the pensioner flats.

Council staff have visited the occupants of the nearby pensioner flats and informed them of the situation. There are no concerns for the safety of the residents or ground stability in that area.

Council engineers are working with OceanaGold engineers to investigate remediation options.

Hauraki District Council Chief Executive Langley Cavers said the affected site, known to be above historic workings, was classified as a hazard zone in 2002 and was cordoned off accordingly.

While this is inconvenient, it is within an area where potential sinkholes could be expected.

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