The Green Party has claimed that American company Newmont Mining, which operates the Waihi gold mining operations, should pay royalties on its mining operations at the Martha mine.
In reports yesterday there was no qualification or comment from the Newmont subsidiary Newmont Waihi Gold which has been acknowledged as having ploughed a considerable amount of money into the Hauraki region and southern Coromandel.
The Green Party’s mining spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty claimed Newmont must pay royalties on gold it extracts from the Martha mine (It also mines two adjacent underground mines).
Delahunty claimed: “It is disappointing that Energy Minister Phil Heatley won't use the Review of New Zealand Minerals Royalty Rates to ensure that royalties are paid on all mines in NZ.”
In response to Green Party questions in Parliament yesterday Heatley reportedly confirmed that the review would look at changing the royalty rates for new permits, but not for permits that have already been awarded.
It was claimed Newmont had not paid any royalties on its Martha mine in Waihi since 1987.
Delahunty, who has been a vocal opponent to mining on the southern Coromandel. claimed the Minister has always had the power to intervene and require Newmont to pay the Government for the NZ gold it digs up at Waihi and claimed Newmont was getting away with “highway robbery.”
(Editor): Apart from her blinkered view on the region’s economic well being, she may have to check on the ownership of the operations since open cut mining began at Martha in modern times. There was a consortium of companies there at the beginning, followed by Normandy Mining and Otter Exploration. Then it became fully owned by Normandy before it was taken over by Newmont in early 2002.
Prior to that occurring the chief executive of Normandy, Robert Champion de Crespigny, told a NZ mining conference that the value of gold being produced from Martha was then worth more in export revenue to the country than all of New Zealand’s wine exports.
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