November newsletter 2010
The story so far
Tui Mine’s story started in 1967. Norpac Mining Ltd opened it to extract metals, including copper, lead and zinc. The mine prospered and the company also found several thousand ounces of gold and silver among the ore. Then unacceptable levels of mercury were found in the ore and the mine became uneconomic. In 1975, Norpac went into liquidation and Tui Mine was abandoned.
The clean up is a joint effort between the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), the landowners (Matamata-Piako District Council [MPDC] and Department of Conservation [DOC]), and Environment Waikato. Representatives of the local iwi, Ngati Rahiri Tumutumu, are also involved in project governance.
Environment Waikato will manage the project implementation. Much of the project work will be undertaken by private contractors and consultants, all reporting to the project manager, Ghassan Basheer, a senior engineer from Environment Waikato’s River and Catchment Services team. The consultants will also assist with the design and supervision of the works, and the resource consent process.
Minister for the Environment Nick Smith braved the coldest day in living memory last month to visit the abandoned mine site. As icy rain needled down, long-time Te Aroha residents commented they had never seen snow lying so low on the mountain.
Click here to read more >>>
Iwi welcome Minister Smith
After the formal welcome to Minister Nick Smith, representatives of Ngati Rahiri Tumutumu dashed off a song for him while he was away inspecting the site. Accompanied by her sunny yellow ukulele, local identity Mapuna Turner led the small group in a warm and good-humoured performance.
From time to time, the waters of the Tui and Tunakohoia streams have run ‘red’. The rusty colour is caused when oxidised iron particles in the adits, the entrances to the mine shafts, are disturbed. The iron mixes with the water draining from the adits, discolouring the water downstream.
Keeping in touch
We want to keep in touch with the local community as we work to clean up the Tui Mine. Some residents may be involved directly in the upcoming consents process, but we would like to keep the broader community informed as well.
Tui Mine Open Day
The public is invited to an open day to find out more about the plan to clean up the Tui Mine site. Feel free to drop in for a chat with our technical experts who will be on hand to explain the process and answer your questions.
One of the key areas for discussion will be future options for public education, recreation and enjoyment after the site has been stabilised.
Date: Thursday, 26 November
Venue: Council Chambers, Matamata-Piako District Council,
Kenrick St, Te Aroha.
Please sign up to our Tui mine e-newsletter on our subscription page.