Waihi mine to pay residents compensation

Waihi's Newmont Gold Mine is expected to begin paying compensation to residents of the town next month for dust, noise and vibration resulting from its mining operation.

The offer consists of an initial down-payment followed by six monthly top-ups.

About 130 homes in the township are affected.

The mining company, which earns billions of dollars from mining around the world, says it is an informal goodwill gesture.

"The people can choose to opt in or not," says Malcom Lane Newmont. "If they do there's essentially an enrolment payment of $500, and thereafter they get paid every 6 months, depending on the measured levels of noise or vibration."

The compensation package has been welcomed by the Green Party, but Lee Anderson has lived with the mine for years and is not convinced.

"They've been talking about it for a long time," says Anderson. "They've been stalling the issue. They carry on digging the hole, making the noise, causing the disturbance, which is exactly what the compensation is about."

Newmont say they work under a set of consent conditions, designed to protect residential amenities. Lane: "An angry teenager could slam a door and give you 2 to 3 times as much vibration as we are allowed to produce."

Most of the people 3 News asked for an opinion on the compensation plan, were not prepared to risk it.

"You gotta remember that a lot of people are directly or indirectly employed by the mine, so they don't want to speak up," says Anderson.

Newmont says those who accept the compensation will be receiving up to $4,500 per year, back paid to January 2007.

source: newshub archive