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04/05/2017 2:00pm

A certificate of compliance has been issued to New Talisman Gold Mines Ltd for prospecting within old mine workings within Mount Karangahake. The certificate also covers associated activities on the portal pad such as the construction of office facilities. This work is separate to the bulk sampling and exploratory underground drilling the company received resource consent for in 2013, but has not yet carried out.

Hauraki District Council Chief Executive Langley Cavers says the current certificate of compliance was issued following a thorough assessment by Council’s planning team and a peer review.

Permitted activity complies with rules

“It was agreed by all parties that the proposed work was a permitted activity, which means it complies with the rules in the Council’s District Plan and can be lawfully carried out without a resource consent,” he said.

He acknowledges the prospecting work may lead to further applications, but clarifies the company does not currently have consent to mine there or anywhere else on Mount Karangahake.

“We understand how people might be feeling about this proposal. The Karangahake Gorge is a national attraction and one of our most valued assets. If actual mining were ever to take place it would only be following a robust resource consent process as prescribed by the Resource Management Act,” he said.

Special rules for conservation zones

This part of the Karangahake Gorge is zoned Conservation (Indigenous Forest) in the Council’s District Plan in recognition of its importance in terms of indigenous forest cover and its high significance as a wildlife habitat as well as its scenic, scientific and recreational value.

There are special rules in place for the District’s Conservation Zones and all activities undertaken in these areas are subject to these rules.