An out-of-work goldminer yesterday pleaded guilty to mining gold on his own property.
Daniel Scheepers appeared in the Greymouth District Court yesterday charged with contravening the Minerals Act.
Ministry of Business of Innovation and Employment (MBIE) lawyer Catherine Milnes said Scheepers and his wife owned a 4.5ha property on Moonlight Road, close to Moonlight Creek, a known goldmining area.
On February 4, MBIE became aware of mining activity on the property.
When spoken to by inspectors, Scheepers initially denied he was goldmining, then said he was mining for sand but later admitted he was mining for gold, Ms Milnes told the court.
"He said he was allowed to mine for gold because he had a Victorian title," she said.
However, MBIE established it was not a Victorian title.
Before being discovered Scheepers, who has 20 years' mining experience, had found between two and three ounces of gold.
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll declined an application for name suppression and remanded him to reappear on October 7.
No conviction was recorded.
- Greymouth Star