Mine shafts may be affecting stream
A myriad of old underground mine shafts in Nightcaps could be affecting the water quality of the Wairio Stream, which feeds into the Aparima River, Environment Southland says.
Last year a report was presented to Environment Southland that suggested it was likely the Wairio Stream at McGregor Park, Nightcaps, was being fed water from the sump at the Takitimu Mine. The stream was discoloured, which led to a slight deterioration of its invertebrates.
Environment Southland senior technical officer compliance Graeme McKenzie said the sump had since been decommissioned, which had fixed the problem to a certain degree.
But continued impacts from the old underground workings of the Takitimu Mine, which is now an opencast mine, were not being ruled out.
Water quality in the Wairio Stream had improved since the sump in question was decommissioned, he said.
But the old underground mine shafts could still be contributing to the discolouration of the stream.
A spokeswoman for Takitimu Mine owner Bathurst Resources said it was possible that rainwater was being collected in the old underground workings but the land under the mine was owned by the Southland District Council. There was still no evidence that the sump that was decommissioned had affected water quality in the stream, she said.
Bruce Halligan, from the Southland District Council, said it was aware there were concerns about the water quality in the Wairio Stream.
He understood Environment Southland was investigating the issue but the source of the discharge was yet to be identified.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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