Newmont Waihi Gold hopes to start work on its controversial $1 billion Correnso underground mine around the middle of next year, depending on how long the likely appeals will take.
The mine is directly below a residential area and, while strict conditions have been set on the magnitude and number of blasts, home owners are worried about the effect on their properties and environmental groups are concerned about the wider impact of the mine.
Newmont was knocked back on the wider Golden Link Project Area and says that it, and opponents to Correnso, have until Wednesday to lodge appeals following the decision by planning commissioners.
Newmont Waihi Gold general manager Glen Grindlay said assuming there would be an appeal, the Environment Court will set a timetable for negotiations between the parties to see what matters can be resolved without a hearing.
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If a hearing was needed the court would also set a timetable for the hearing and deadlines for the exchange of evidence.
While there was no fixed time for a hearing, Grindlay said the company expected that it would be some time in the third quarter of the year and it was hoped to have a decision by the end of the year. Capital expenditure and operating expenditure would add up to about $1 billion, he said.
Development work is in mid-2014, with production starting 12 months later.
The refusal of permission to develop Golden Link was not critical to the existing operations or to Correnso.
"However, the need to permit any extensions to Correnso will increase the cost of development and may affect the viability of some of those potential extensions," Grindlay said.
The open pit operation is currently due for completion in early 2016 and mining at the existing underground Favona project has finished other than the ongoing removal of some remnants of ore.
The company also has consent to undertake an underground exploration project in the Martha pit, and a start date for that project has yet to be set.