Saturday, May 8, 2010

outstanding landscape deserves outstanding protection

Outstanding landscape under threat - but the miners say it is out of the way up the Nevis Valley so it doesn't matter. It is worth noteing as we have this fight against mining on schedule 4 protected lands that we have many places that deserve protection. The land contained within schedule 4 is only a sample of our outstanding lands and whilst we must stop their feeble attempts at mining that land we must also be mindful of the rest of the land, not contained within that schedule, also needs protecting. Maybe I am anti-mining - it does feel like a violation and we have so few unabused places. How many outstanding landscapes do we have left? If we take the effort to attribute the title 'outstanding landscape' to a place don't we then have an obligation to maintain that?

From The ODT
"Resource consent has been sought for an alluvial gold mining operation in the Nevis Valley in an area classified as an outstanding landscape.
Golden Bush Mining Ltd has sought land use consent from the Central Otago District Council to extract gold from a previously mined area at Schoolhouse Creek Flats. It already holds a mining permit for a 785ha block and planned to mine three strips of land within that block.
The council's landscape assessment maps identify the area as outstanding landscape.
As part of the operation, the mining company has also sought resource consent from the Otago Regional Council to take water from a mining pit next to a watercourse, for land use consent to alter the bed of a watercourse and to obtain a discharge permit.
The proposed mine was in a remote area. The closest dwelling was kilometres away so the possibility of dust being a nuisance was "practically nil".
A report prepared by ecologist and botanist Neill Simpson said the operation could be carried out over much of the site with minimal effect on the long-term ecological values of the area, providing places containing threatened plants were excluded.
There is a bit more to protect up the Nevis Valley than just threatened plants - although obviously they should be protected. This area has a rich history before they began digging for gold as evidenced by the large moa hunter sites found and subsequently lost. This valley was a lifeway for maori. And this area is very important for maori. It is an outstanding landscape with a outstanding history and future - if we protect it.
"The operation would comprise an open pit of "modest size" with the gold recovery plant on pontoons, floating in the mine pond."
It's a dirty business mining for gold - even on 'modest'scales.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This "lifeway" was so maori could go mine greenstone on the west coast.