Reports of Evolution Minings' withdrawal from Northland premature

By Dean Nathan

Despite reports of the Evolution Mining Company's withdrawal from Puhipuhi, their New Zealand manager (Jackie Hobbins) has told Te Kāea that celebrations in the anti-mining lobby are premature.

It's been widely reported that the Australian company Evolution Mining has all but pulled out of its Northland operation at Puhipuhi. But that's not the case according to the company management.  

Despite reports of the Evolution Mining Company's withdrawal from Puhipuhi their New Zealand manager (Jackie Hobbins) has told Te Kāea that celebrations in the anti-mining lobby are premature.

Minewatch Northland spokesperson Tim Howard says, "We suspect and it's not unreasonable to suspect that they're just delaying their withdrawal because in the meantime they're trying to negotiate like they're doing in Australia a sell out to another vendor or exploration company."

While their drill program has received some encouraging results, Evolution Mining has told Te Kāea they are not sufficient to determine whether an economic resource is present and that will require additional expenditure.

"We're not surprised the delay is deliberate and it's also deliberate on the Government's side. The Government wants this delay so that it keeps this permit alive because they desperately want to mine in Northland and they're not going to get it."

Evolution's drilling operation at Puhipuhi wrapped up in December last year with the company saying they've met their commitments under the exploration permit and will now focus on other exploration projects.  In time a decision will be made whether or not to return to Puhipuhi. 

Ngāti Hau Anti-Mining Group spokesperson Vaughn Potter says, "If they do come back they will find that there will be a lot more opposition as we were scaling up before we got the news that they'd pulled out.  But there is a lot more opposition and the Ngati Hau Anti-mining Group is growing by the day with a heck of a lot of support from the community."