Maureen Pugh says they'll have "come up with an alternative" industry by then.
"I am here today to appeal to the Government to listen to us."
Gunmen ambushed a Canadian gold mining convoy in the west African nation.
National says the decision shows the coalition Government is unstable.
It would see most mining activity banned on some Coromandel land.
An expert says protecting that data should have been the first thing police did.
Simon Bridges says it's another example of the Government "failing to deliver".
Activists are angry at the Government's inaction.
Thousands have signed a petition against an Aussie company's bid to mine the fossil-rich Otago site.
The mine has a new seal, but plans on what to do next have not been finalised.
A symbolic re-entry took place on Tuesday.
"We've known we are going back in for a year now, today it feels like it."
"Pulling that plug out is like pulling the cork out of a bottle."
It was originally scheduled for earlier this month.
"There would never have been a second explosion if the first one hadn't happened."
Ten big holes were today drilled through the outer wall in preparation.
"In its heyday, it averaged a murder a week."
The Government is doing nothing to stop it, despite reporting no economic benefits.
Activists are frustrated the policy is seeing little action.
"You can't undertake a mining operation without an element of risk."