The Golden Cross gold mine at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula in Hauraki District is an example of a mine that opened and subsequently closed since the Resource Management Act was passed in 1991. It is among foremost sites in the world for environmental management of mine closure and post-closure.
A combination of an open pit and an underground mine, Golden Cross produced 660,000 ounces of gold and 1.7 million ounces of silver between 1991 and 1998 for an 80/20 joint venture of Coeur d’Alene (since renamed Coeur Mining) and Todd Energy.
At its peak the mine employed 243 staff, with an additional 750 employed in service and support industries.
The operation was located on steeply sloping grazing land, and included a processing plant, a freshwater management system and water treatment plant. Instability in the tailings storage facility (TSF) required mine closure to manage the issue, with abundant resources left in the ground. The mine proceeded from closure to post-closure site management.
This is an example of the RMA system working as intended when it was enacted.