Protesters continue to disrupt gold mining of Karangahake Gorge

Protesters with Project Karangahake have obstructed the road to a mine site at Mt Karangahake on Monday morning.
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Protesters with Project Karangahake have obstructed the road to a mine site at Mt Karangahake on Monday morning.

Protesters have renewed efforts to disrupt gold mining operations in the Karangahake Gorge.

New Talisman Gold Mines reported a massive find of quality gold at the mine between Paeroa and Waihi earlier earlier this month, as part of a three year prospecting operation which started in May.

Protesters argue the company is plundering the conservation estate, and continue to frustrate mine staff.

Protect Karangahake chairman Duncan Shearer says they will continue to carry out protest actions in coming weeks.
SUPPLIED

Protect Karangahake chairman Duncan Shearer says they will continue to carry out protest actions in coming weeks.

Protect Karangahake chairman Duncan Shearer said that close to 20 members were part of a human barrier on the road to the mine at 7am on Monday.

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"It was a very peaceful process, we watched dawn on the mountain, we sang songs," Shearer said.

"The security guards that are attached to the mining company obviously alerted the mine workers as they were coming up, so they delayed their arrival on site."

Shearer said the group likely interrupted operations for about an hour and a half. 

"The cops were called and our event co-ordinator was warned that she was obstructing the road. Ironically there was no mining traffic that showed up while we were there, the cops were the only ones that turned up."

The group then walked down the road, passing the mining staff "and expressed that we didn't feel their presence was appropriate on the mountain".

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Shearer said they planned to continue with multiple peaceful protest actions in the coming weeks. 

"We are there as witnesses to what is going on ... we're not some sort of silent presence, we're in their faces as much as possible."

In June, the group obstructed staff from leaving the site by linking arms and walking slowly down the road, turning a three-minute drive into an hour.

Other protesters, unconnected to the group, have locked workers in by padlocking gates, scattered nails on the road, and lobbed rocks at security.

 

 - Stuff

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