Precious metal quest to start | News | Kawerau

Precious metal quest to start

27 January 2015

An Australian-owned company will continue its search for gold south of Kawerau in the next few months.

Silver City NZ was awarded an exploration permit last year to look for gold and silver in an area covering 33sq km of the central North Island volcanic plateau and will start initial surveys in February and March.

Silver City will be investing at least $1.25 million in the area over the next five years.

When the permit was granted, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges told media the project had potential to create jobs and provide a long term benefit to the economy.

Silver City NZ managing director Chris Torrey said the company had consulted and negotiated access with land owners and iwi in the area.

“It’s all very low key and low impact work at the moment … we want to make sure we respect cultural boundaries and considerations.”

Despite being an Australian company the people in charge of the project were all Kiwis, including Mr Torrey, who has done geological work in the Rotorua area before.

Mr Torrey said the project would use local consultants, except where they required expertise or equipment that wasn’t locally available.

“The Kiwi geologists are the experts. They know the area and it’s geology better than anyone,” he said.

Work will begin with an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey to make high resolution maps of the area to help guide later field teams and identify points for further exploration. This will be followed up by ground-based geological mapping and systematic sampling of stream sediment, rock and soil.

Mr Torrey said this would be low cost, and have minimal environmental impact.

If the results are promising Silver City will conduct more detailed aerial surveys and systematic drilling for small samples from deeper in the ground.

Source: Rotorua Daily Post