Coromandel Watchdog Activists Camping on Gold Drill Rig

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Watchdog activists peacefully shut down a Newmont gold drilling rig in the Parakiwai Valley since 8am on Saturday July 6.

“Activists have continued to camp overnight on the gold drilling rig, ensuring operations are unable to continue in this sensitive conservation area,” said Coromandel Watchdog Coordinator Renee Annan.

The rig has been off for over 24 hours and more Coromandel residents are joining the action today in a remote part of the conservation area.

“We are committed to protecting this habitat for endangered native species including one of the rarest frogs in the world, the Archey’s Frog.”

“We are here to represent all New Zealanders who value the environment and we believe mining in this beautiful environment and recreation area is unacceptable" Ms Annan said.

"By an accident of history this area is not protected by Schedule 4 but it should be, so we are holding our ground here to promote the values of this site.

Activists will be joined by residents who are gathering at the Parakiwai Quarry entrance to the forest park at 10am.

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Watchdog activists are today occupying a mining exploration site on conservation land in the Parakiwai Valley near Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula.

“We are here to peacefully protest the current mining activities because protection of Conservation land is essential for the preservation of biodiversity,” said Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Renee Annan.

“Glass Earth is working with Newmont Gold to expand their mining activities throughout popular recreational and conservation areas in the Coromandel. The area is home to the most endangered frog in the world and other rare species, such as Helm’s Butterfly and Coromandel Brown Kiwi. Glass Earth have claimed to have found promising results in the area and Watchdog is very concerned about proposals to either open cast or underground mine in this conservation area.

“This conservation land should have been included when the northern Coromandel conservation land was added to Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, as it has extremely high conservation values and we are campaigning for its inclusion. Mining is totally inappropriate in this area.”

Newmont Gold holds several permits throughout the Peninsula as well as their controversial mine in Waihi.

“Our communities deserve better than a boom and bust industry, our future is in sustainable jobs based on our beautiful natural environment.”

“We are here today because the Parakiwai Valley is a precious place that we will protect from the destruction of mining.”

The Indymedia Network

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