Mining is a major part of New Zealand’s economy. The country’s resources make up a NZ$2bn industry that contributes to 2.5% of GDP.

GlobalData’s practice head for mining Alok Shukla says that “Mining across the country has demonstrated enormous growth and contributed to the economy majorly by creating jobs, attracting investments, and generating government revenues.”

But resources have been harder to find on the West Coast, Coromandel, and Taranaki areas, where mining has typically taken place. Companies are expanding their search for resources to keep up with the demand.

In the last couple of years, a large vein of gold, estimated to hold approximately NZ$10m worth of gold, was discovered by the New Talisman Gold Mines within the Karangahake Gorge on the North Island.

The problem? The gold is on protected land and the local community objects to the development over environmental concerns, “Protestors concerned about the adverse effect on the environment and monument, objecting initial developments. The company, however, states about 95% of the mining will occur deep below the surface,” says Shukla.

New Talisman says they plan to begin mining in 2018.

The community is concerned about the damage to the local water supply, the impact on the environment, and tourism.

Karangahake Gorge

While the community protests, the local government and the Department of Conservation has already given permission, so New Talisman can legally begin mining (they received a mining permit in 2009). New Talisman says they plan to begin mining in 2018.

What do you think? Should the government give permits to companies to mine on protected land? Mining is such a big part of our economy; can we afford to lose jobs and infrastructure if the government bans mining on these sites? Can our environment and tourism industry afford the potential harm to the land?