Up to 60 mining jobs have been promised with the start up of two new goldmining operations near Hokitika and Kumara.

Christchurch man Mike McDonald - a director of collapsed Hokitika-based mining company MCAM - appears to be back in business on the West Coast.

He met recently with Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn and advised $20 million was being invested to start goldmining at Greenstone, near Kumara, and Awatuna under pre-existing permits.

New equipment and heavy machinery, including a massive 200-tonne digger, was being shipped to New Zealand to get the operations under way shortly, Mr Kokshoorn said.


A total of 60 jobs -- 40 at Greenstone and 20 at Awatuna -- were expected to be created.

Mr Kokshoorn said he met with Mr McDonald and investor Martin Davie, from the Isle of Man, last week. Mr Davie is the director of a new company called Koura Mining, which registers its principal place of business as Eco Minerals, at 99 Revell Street, Hokitika.

Koura Mining is understood to be originally a shareholder of MCAM Minerals but it vacated the shareholding in April.

After the MCAM opportunity collapsed, Mr McDonald headed to Britain to try to shore up new investment.

MCAM Minerals said before Christmas it expected to spend more than US$70 million ($88.5 million) developing two open-cast platinum mines in Southland and three open-cast goldmines on the West Coast.

The company had entered contracts to buy several farms near Hokitika so it could begin mining but failed to settle.

It closed the Hokitika office, above the ASB Bank, early this year after Mr McDonald's other company MCAM Ltd was put into liquidation in November.

Liquidators Rodgers Reidy Ltd said the company started trading in 2007 and appeared to have ceased trading about October or November when all employment agreements were terminated.


The company previously traded in construction and mining equipment, but since October 2012 had been developing a goldmining business on the West Coast.

"We are aware that the company is a party to a number of agreements for sale and purchase of mining permits, mining licences and real estate. We are in the process of collating information and reviewing these various agreements to establish if there is any value in them that we are able to realise for the benefit of creditors."

Mr McDonald told the liquidators the reason for insolvency was "difficulties in securing investor funds".

Mr Kokshoorn said last week the fresh plans, and investments, seemed "genuine" to him.

Until proven otherwise, he was optimistic it might bring some economic relief to the Coast.

"I know he's had bad press in the past but if he fronts up and starts a claim in Greenstone, and a claim in Awatuna and employs 60 people then that will be extremely good for the West Coast economy," Mr Kokshoorn said.

"They are claiming to start up shortly... the proof will be in the pudding I guess, when we see diggers on site working and people being employed."

Westland Mayor Mike Havill has not been approached about the developments.

Mr McDonald could not be contacted last week, or yesterday.

The Eco Minerals office in Hokitika was staffed on Friday, although the door was locked. Yesterday it was unattended and appeared to be closed.

The liquidators for MCAM say they do not believe funds would be available for unsecured creditors. Creditors include: 2 Degrees, Addisons Carpet Court, Aratuna Freighters, Limited Asset Finance Limited, Avanti Finance Limited, Bank of New Zealand, Thompson Family Trust, Inland Revenue Department, Ken McDonald, MCAM Minerals Limited, Shardell Investment Holding Limited, and Thompson Awatuna Farm Limited, among others.