Agreement has been reached between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Oceana Gold on the company’s proposed Macraes mine expansion.
Oceana Gold wants to extend its operations on private land it holds and DOC is keen to minimise any impact on rare native plant and animal species.
DOC says the agreement addresses its concerns about impact of the proposal and, as a result, has agreed to neither support nor oppose the applications for resource consents from the Otago Regional Council and the Waitaki District Council for the Macraes Phase III Project.
The Otago Conservator Marian van der Goes said after today’s Oceana Gold hearing in Dunedin, “The agreement will see Oceana signing convenants that will permanently protect and enhance 155ha of comparable habitat as a result of the project”.
Oceana has also agreed to fund a $100,000 programme to maintain and enhance populations of roundhead galaxias, an acutely threatened fish.
There are no grand or Otago skinks in the affected area but the habitat of other lizard species, birds and 10-15 rare plant species will be affected.