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Todd Corp gets nod to sell gold mine stake

NZN 29/07/2016 Sophie Boot

Todd Corp has gained approval to sell its 20 per cent stake in the Golden Cross joint venture, which ran a gold mine in Waikino until 1997, to Coeur Gold, its former partner in the project.

Coeur Gold, a subsidiary of US company Coeur Mining, currently holds 80 per cent of the joint venture. The Overseas Investment Office approved its acquisition of the remaining stake in June, giving Coeur Gold 100 per cent of 736 hectares of land in Waikino and a mining licence for 389 hectares of land within that. The licence is due to expire in April 2020.

The silver and gold mine in the Waikino, near Waihi, operated from 1991 to 1998. It yielded gold and silver worth about $400 million as at 2000 prices, but became uneconomic due to falling gold prices and a landslip which cost $30 million to stabilise, the New Zealand Herald reported at the time. Coeur Gold and Todd Corp have worked to return the land to farmland surrounded by native bush, as it was prior to mining.

"The applicant [Coeur Gold] will continue to rehabilitate the former mine site on the land which ceased operation in 1998," the Overseas Investment Office said in its decision on the acquisition. "This includes additional planting and fencing to protect and enhance sites of indigenous vegetation, enhancing public access to the land and enhancing the historic heritage on the land though providing signage explaining the site's history."

A sustainable and identifiable benefit to New Zealand was identified by the transaction, the OIO said, with particular reference to indigenous vegetation, historic heritage and walking access.

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