Once dubbed New Zealand’s most contaminated site, the Tui Mine Remediation project has removed the major risks to community health and safety and environmental damage Tui Mine once posed.
Prior to its abandonment, Tui Mine produced a range of base metals, including copper, lead and zinc. The two streams that flow from the mine site through Te Aroha were affected by heavy metals leaching into them.
Additionally, the tailings dam was found to be at risk of collapse in a moderate seismic or extreme weather event. If an event had occurred, over 90,000m3 of mine waste could have flowed down the Tui stream – through the township of Te Aroha and into the Waihou River that feeds into the Hauraki Gulf.
Various phases of assessment were carried out as the tailings material had not been stabilised for over 10 years. Additional work included the concept and detailed design for the remediation of the tailings dam and underground workings.
In recognition of the environmental and community benefits of this complex project, the Tui Mine Remediation project achieved merit in the large project category of the 2014 IPENZ Arthur Mead Award for the Environment and Sustainability.