Anti-mining groups have issued a threat to a Canadian company which is taking up the Puhipuhi epithermal gold-silver leases in Northland.
They claim they will be subjected to harassment over plans to discovery a new gold deposit in this region of Northland, noted for its unemployment rate and also vociferous anti mining groups who paint colourful claims and stories on social media.
Full Metal Minerals Inc (TSX-V: FMM) announced acquiring the Puhipuhi exploration permits near Whangarei, from leading Australian gold miner Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN).
Radio New Zealand reported Evolution had ceased its exploration programme, saying it had other priorities.
However Vaughan Potter from the Ngati Hau anti-mining action group claimed the Australian company left because of sustained resistance from the locals. It would take more than a noisy minority to have swayed Evolution, and Potter and his alarmist friends may find Full Metal Minerals also resolute in their exploration quest.
Linked with Full Metal is well known geologist and corporate developer Adrian Fleming who has operated in New Zealand. He and his family had digs at the top of the South Island.
Fleming developed a company called Underworld that operated in North America and NZ and, after a major discovery, was taken over by a North American major. This was a great reward for shareholders and a feather in the cap of geoscientists linked to the University of Otago who undertook generative work on the North American discovery.
Potter told Radio NZ: “The Canadians will get the same response as Evolution or any other mining company coming into Ngati Hau whenua. We're not interested in gold. We're interested in the survival of our people and I mean all of our people, not just Maori but pakeha - everyone who lives in our community.”
Potter claimed mining at Puhipuhi would risk the health of freshwater and eels because of naturally high mercury levels in the soil. When that alarm bell was first floated by anti-miners and the Greens during Evolution’s work, the Australian company undertook studies on mercury mining by old-timers in the region.
A report was put out by Evolution in March 2016 to Northland communities and the media (see attachment) to counter some of the blinkered views put out by Potter’s associates.
Sources: radionz.co.nz & nzresources.com data.