Sunday, January 17, 2010

greens are giving me hope

The greens give me hope. Kevin Hague, Green MP has written an excellent piece on opposition to a proposed goldmine in Ruatapu, about 10km south of Hokitika.

The whole article is very well written and i recommend you go here to read the whole post.

Some highlights for me
"I’d read the application and Assessment of Environmental Effects before heading down there, and was surprised just how close (15m) the mine would come, and what a valuable piece of regenerating podocarp forest would be lost if it were bowled. It’s the usual infuriating assessment: the bush is ’significant’, it is a rare piece of lowland forest, it represents the southern limit on a numbe of species, and provides habitat for some birds that are at risk, but compared to the larger amount of forest around neighbouring Lake Mahinapua, loss of this would be of minor effect.
... But whether or not the town is currently safe to live in (and I have asked the Medical Officer of Health to investigate this), what is certain is that an alluvial gold mine will make things much, much worse. The nature of alluvial mining is that soil is dug up and turned over into large piles. Wind blows across these, dispersing PCPs far and wide. To muffle the noise of the mining operation, ‘bunds’ are created. From the mine soil. Same problem – 15m from people’s kitchen windows. And that dredge pond? The mining operation has to continuously clear large volumes of water, and some of it will be pumped into the dredge pond. Some of that water will be forced down into the ground water, but mostly it’s likely to raise the water level in the pond. We do occasionally have extreme rainfall events on the Coast, with the prospect that the pond will overflow, but in fact before that happens the water (and sediment) will flow through tunnels (known by the old timers, but not officially until yesterday) into Lake Mahinapua.
This is good writing by Kevin. We must get people emotionally as involved as those directly affected by these developments and this type of article is one of the ways to do it. Thanks Kevin - good work.

Hat tip Frogblog

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