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A group of Waihi residents affected by mining operations in the small Coromandel township are to receive compensation for years of dust, noise and blast vibrations.

But while the package has been welcomed by the Green Party and a local residents' group, some say the offer is too little, too late from the world's second-largest gold miner.

Newmont Mining Corporation owns the Martha pit in Waihi and has mining operations on five continents.

The company, which reported fourth-quarter revenue last year of $1.77 billion, has agreed to an "amenity effects" programme where it will pay about 130 Waihi households it considers to be the worst affected by its operations on an ongoing basis.

Residents who accept the offer will receive an initial sum of $500 which will be followed by half-yearly payments ranging from $100 to $4500 depending on the level of intrusion, backdated to the beginning of last year.

The announcement was welcomed by Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who worked in conjunction with the Distressed Residents Action Team (Drat) over the past two years to broker the deal.

She said the offer "may well be the first of its kind" and should be recognised, as Newmont's consents meant it was not legally bound to do anything.

"But they have negotiated this offer in recognition that their activities do cause considerable distress to their neighbours," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Drat secretary Collette Spalding said the multi-national's willingness to listen and compensate locals was to be applauded.

"There's still some way to go, but this is a step in the right direction," Ms Spalding said.

But Linda Millen, whose vast central Waihi home stretches to within 100m from the edge of the pit, doubted the sincerity of Newmont's intentions.

"They're a large multinational company and this payout is nothing to them. Look at the gold they've taken out of this place and what they've put back into it - it's absolutely nothing."

In its fourth-quarter results the company said it produced and sold 31,000 ounces of gold from the Waihi mine. The price of gold yesterday was $1231 an ounce.

Mrs Millen has had the 71-year-old house with immense gardens and trees on the market since November.

"But because of the uncertainty with what's happening with the mine we haven't had a single offer."

Newmont external affairs manager Malcolm Lane said the company's offer was a "goodwill gesture".

"It's been a part of what we've been trying to do over the last few years to make sure we operate as a good corporate citizen," he said.

Mr Lane said the Martha pit was due to close mid-2010 and the nearby underground Favona Mine in 2011.

But he said Newmont was looking at extending the laybanks to the east and west of Martha pit.

"Decisions on whether these are economic are expected to be made within the next two months."