About the Reefton Restoration Project

The former Globe Progress Mine is located at Reefton, within the Victoria Forest Park, on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

OceanaGold commenced commercial operations in 2007, producing 610,000 ounces over the life of the open pit operation. The mine transitioned from operations to closure and rehabilitation in 2016 and is now known as the Reefton Restoration Project.

The Reefton Restoration Project is known for its comprehensive closure and rehabilitation program, with works including:

  • removal of process plant and infrastructure
  • water treatment and ground preparation
  • waste rock reshaping and landscaping
  • backfilling operations
  • spreading topsoil and planting trees
  • pest and weed control.

Once complete, the site’s management will be returned to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Environmental management

At the end of May 2019, more than 101.1 hectares (of 250 hectares) have been completely rehabilitated. The backfill, topsoil and planting of the former Souvenir open pit have been completed and the surface of Fossickers tailing impoundment will be completed in the 2019 planting season.

Once complete the impoundment will incorporate a shallow lake, which is maintained to provide a minimum two-metre water cover above the tailings surface (that acts as a hydraulic seal). There will be riparian planting of native species on the lake’s margins and beaches. This methodology aligns with the restoration goal to ensure long-term stabilisation of the physical, chemical and ecological condition of the tailings impoundment.

Our planting program is re-establishing ecosystems with indigenous species in a new post-mining landscape. Once complete post-restoration areas will consist primarily of forested areas populated by Beech and Manuka species, complemented by native conifers including Rimu and Miro trees.

Since commencing progressive rehabilitation we’ve completed over 101 hectares of restoration which includes having planted approximately 710,000 seedlings. We will be planting additional 300,000 seedlings over the next three years.

The former Globe Progress open pit is more than 80% full and tracking within modelled natural-fill parameters. As it fills, the team conducts continuous sampling and modelling, including monitoring the temperature and conductivity of the water down to a depth of 30 metres.

Partnerships and engagement

We’re proud of our history in Reefton and our connection to the local and broader West Coast community.

We’ve partnered with the Buller District Council and Inangahua Community Board, committing $250,000 to deliver projects that will support Reefton into the future. These projects include:

  • $150,000 over three years to fund a Socio-economic Development Officer position, based in the Council’s Reefton Service Centre, to focus on working with the community to develop and establish projects and secure funding
  • $50,000 project establishment funding to support the development of projects
  • $50,000 to update the Reefton iSite Interpretation Centre to celebrate the region’s rich gold mining history.

We’re also supporting environmental partnerships with the Department of Conservation, including Maruia Valley pest control and research and Kaka Management.

To learn more:

Reefton Facebook Page