Business as usual at Waikaia Gold

RACHAEL KELLY
Last updated 12:00 19/08/2014

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Falling gold prices may lead to Mintago Investments' alluvial goldmine at Earnscleugh near Alexandra closing, but it is business as usual for Waikaia Gold in Northern Southland.

Waikaia Gold operates the second-largest goldmine in New Zealand, recovering 16,000 to 20,000 ounces of gold annually.

The mine employs 20 fulltime and three casual workers while Reefton earthmoving company Rosco Contracting employs 15 staff at the mine.

Waikaia Gold company director and on-site project director Sam March said business at the mine was "going along well". Falling gold prices had not affected the venture.

"Having said that, I wouldn't want to see the gold price drop below US$1000 (NZ$1182) an ounce, March said.

"Right at the moment it's US$ 500 an ounce."

The Earnscleugh mining operation differed from Waikaia because Waikaia recovered a higher grade of gold, he said.

"At Waikaia we believe we have a very robust resource and our recovered grades are better than our reserves."

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