It's disappointing that the Environment Court has sided with foreign-owned mining giant Newmont, over concerned Waihi residents," said Green Party terrestrial mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty was responding to the Environment Court decision released this evening, that recommended approval of Newmont's application to increase the depths of their underground operations at the Martha Mine, to carry out underground operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to extend the hours of blasting. Ms Delahunty and locals submitted to the Court in favour of restricting the hours of operations and against extending the hours of blasting.
"Most submitters were not outright opposed to the proposal, they simply wanted reasonable restrictions placed on operations. It's a shame that these reasonable demands were ignored," said Ms Delahunty.
"It is clear from this hearing that the law does not protect the most vulnerable residents in Waihi from the effects of mining.
"Once again Waihi residents will pay the price in further disruption to their lives so that Newmont can make more profit that will flow offshore.
"The Martha Mine at Waihi has not brought prosperity to the people. Waihi rates poorly on New Zealand's deprivation index.
"Energy Minister Phil Heatley must approve Newmont's application before their new work programme can begin, and I am calling on Minister Heatley to refuse to approve it without the reasonable restrictions to operations that the Environment Court failed to impose," said Ms Delahunty.
Newmont is also seeking consent for a significant new mine, called the Correnso Mine, under the eastern residential area of Waihi. The hearings for the Correnso Mine begin next month.