Mining: the life blood of the West Coast’s economy
The future of West Coast mining in these modern times
Pounamu continues to be prized by Maori in particular, and New Zealanders in general, also attracting a great deal of interest from international tourists.
Greenstone is now often sourced by gold miners while removing overburden and working through tailings. With regard to coal, the West Coast’s product is regarded as the “caviar of coals”, and the region’s coking coal is sought after worldwide for steel production. The top three destinations for West Coast coking coal are now India, Japan and Australia. Oceana Gold’s Globe Progress mine near Reefton finished mining in 2015, and finished processing in 2016. It now leads the industry in restoration, and serves as an example of how mining on conservation land can be done responsibly. At present, gold production on the Coast is carried out by small to middle sized operators. Gold prices are high, and there’s no shortage of opportunity.
Here’s an example of just one West Coast alluvial gold operation: