The Great National Mining Corporation has chosen Earth Day to announce its plans to seek government approval to mine in Dunedin’s Octagon.
Commenting on the irony of the timing of the release of their plans, GNMC spokesman Doug de Houlle said ‘What better day than Earth Day? The government wants mining and we can move the earth to do it.’
The Great National Mining Company has been carrying out exploration and prospecting by aerial surveys around the country ‘for some time now’, and has already confirmed substantial deposits of Iron Pyrites in the Helensville and Ilam areas. ‘We’ve been held up since 1997 when the National Government said some places are too precious to mine but now we see the green light for us to get stuck in.’ Mr de Houlle said. ‘We think we can fix this country if people can put up with a bit of inconvenience for 20 years or so’ he added.
While the company’s plans require a series of ‘small-ish’ holes around the Octagon, the roads and buildings are expected to be affected by mine access tunnels, a processing plant and waste-storage areas. The company concedes that the Octagon’s trees ‘will probably have to go’ and the Robbie Burns statue poses a hazard if it remains in its current position. ‘There’s some pretty good metal in it (the statue) so we can probably get a reasonable price for it.’ Mr de Houlle said. ‘In fact, you’ve got some other old statues and historic relics with high mineral potential so we’re looking at those next’.
Mr de Houlle was non-committal when asked about benefits for Dunedin ratepayers from this venture. His company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allott de Houlle’s, based in Australia and owned by the Big Yankee Bank. ‘We are doing this for the prosperity of your city and country’ he said defensively ‘OK, Australia will benefit more but you have to trust us.”
“After all you’re pretty desperate’.
Iron pyrite is a mineral commonly referred to as ‘fools’ gold’, the cause of many failed hopes in the 19th century Otago and Coromandel gold-rushes.
Provided by Brian Dixon for Earth Day