New Waihi mine to be built under homes

Waihi residents will be literally sitting on a goldmine after a US-based mining company won the right to dig for the precious metal directly below 45 homes.

Hauraki District Council has granted consent to Newmont Waihi Gold to develop Correnso mine, a 24-hour, 7-day operation underground in the small Coromandel township, Radio New Zealand reports.

Correnso will be the first mine to be constructed directly underneath a residential area.

Building will begin over winter and the mine could operate to the end of 2020, "but potentially longer if additional resources are found", Newmont said on its website.

The mine will sit 350 metres below ground and will employ 400 full-time workers, many of whom are transferring from other nearby mining operations drawing to a close.

About 500 written submissions were received on the application, with most supporting the project and 115 opposed to it.

The council has placed strict guidelines on the size and frequency of the mining blasts and has limited operation to 10 years initially.

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