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Historic New Zealand gold mine to be revived in $500 million plan

Liam Sheasby

Liam Sheasby, News Editor
8 Jan 2019, 12:05 p.m.

A quartz sample from the Waiuta site. Photo courtesy of Tasman Mining.

The Blackwater gold mine in New Zealand is to be brought back into production under the operation of Tasman Mining, with $500 million proposed spending and the creation of 100 jobs locally.

The high-grade mine was last mined in 1951 when a mine collapse closed the site. Now Tasman Mining has been granted a mining permit by the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals government agency to bring it up to modern standards of operation, while keeping the majority of operation below the surface.

Photo of the Blackwater Mine bush railway in the 1930s, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Blackwater deposit is located on the South Island, near the abandoned town Waiuta and the larger neighbouring town of Reefton. The Reefton goldfield was a famously prolific source of gold in the earlier 20th Century, with Blackwater producing 700,000 ounces of gold between 1908 and 1951.

Image courtesy of Google Maps and

Tasman acquired the Blackwater mine site from OceanaGold in July last year and pressed ahead with gaining the mining permit. The plan is for Tasman Mining to build an underground mining complex, with a primary tunnel for underground digging and access to the existing gold resource at the Blackwater site, rather than any further expansion and exploration in the goldfield.

Chief Development Officer for OceanaGold, Mark Cadzow said in a press release: “The granting of the mining permit for the Blackwater Project is a strong endorsement of the high-quality work undertaken by Tasman Mining to date, and we are very pleased to be supporting such a strong management team who are focused on working towards developing a modern underground mine in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.”

The company also stated their intent to extract silver from the mine within the next 20 years, surpassing the predicted 10-year mine life for gold extraction. Click here to read the full Tasman Mining press release.

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