Ross mine goes down, down

By Rebekah Fraser

A large mining pit that is getting deeper at Ross will have to be backfilled and turned into agricultural land once gold extraction has finished.
Located beside State highway 6 at Donoghues, the pit is growing day by day as Birchfield Ross Mining continue to hunt for gold in the area.
The Westland District Council yesterday allayed fears the hole could be plugged and filled with water, creating a lake similar to the former mining pit in Ross township.
Council consent documents show the company will have to rehabilitate the land: “At the completion of mining the site shall be re-contoured in such a manner that will be appropriate for agricultural purposes”.
According to the documents, Birchfields expect to excavate to a depth of 15m below the level of the highway.
The consent was signed off a year ago after the council said the mining would be undertaken without “significant adverse” environmental effects.
“There will be positive economic effects provided to the community through granting this consent. The topography, proposed conditions and location of the proposed mining ensures that the effects on the surrounding amenity and character of the rural zone will be no more than minor,” the consent decision said.