Activists Withdraw from Rig after 30-hour Occupation

7 July 2013 Anti-mining activists have withdrawn from a camp out on a Coromandel Peninsula gold drilling rig after occupying the site over 30 hours.

Coromandel Watchdog activists had camped out on the Newmont drilling rig in Parakiwai Valley, near Whangamata, preventing it from operating.

Watchdog spokeswoman Renee Annan said the group had withdrawn after achieving its goal of shutting down operations for more than 30 hours.

“We have achieved our purpose, which was to highlight that this area should never be mined.

“We camped for two days on the drilling rig in the remote forest because we want to protect the environment and the endangered species in this forest,” Miss Annan said.

The area is not protected by Schedule Four in the Crown Minerals Act, something Ms Annan called “an accident of history”.

Schedule Four lists highest value conservation lands that are not allowed to be mined.

“We will continue to take peaceful action against Newmont’s attempts to drill for gold in the Forest Park, a Forest Park which is the habitat of the rarest frog in the world.

“Newmont have flown in more security guards this afternoon to protect Newmont when really they should be helping us protect the environment,” Ms Annan said.

The group was joined by 30 local residents today who were supportive of the protest.

Newmont also operates Martha Mine in Waihi.