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Published: 2001-12-21 00:00:00

Environment Waikato does not have any evidence to indicate that de-watering at the Waihi Mine was the cause of last week’s collapse which swallowed a house and damaged others.

Resource Use Group Manager Harry Wilson said the Council was in regular contact with the mine company on a range of matters regarding its consents.

“There is no indication of any concern over compliance with our conditions,” Mr Wilson said.

The company filed formal reports on de-watering and settlement issues in March and December of this year. The most recent formal report, filed today, reported full compliance with the relevant consent conditions.

Mr Wilson said the exchange of information between the Council and the company was constant and the filed reports were simply a formal summary of information for the year.

Although formal reporting of de-watering data was only required annually, the consent requires immediate reporting of any settlement which shows a significant difference to predictions.

The consent granted in 1999 did not double the amount of water that could be taken by de-watering, as had been reported.

While it did allow an increase over the previous consent, the amount that had actually been taken in the 2001 year had been substantially less than allowed, and less than allowed by the previous consent.

“We have no reason to believe the company is not in full compliance with their Regional Council consent. There are a number of possible causes for the collapse and a proper process is being worked through to find out what happened.

“Once the working party established by Hauraki District Council has reported, Environment Waikato will review any implications for the consents at that time,” Mr Wilson said.