Gold Mining in New Zealand Today
With every advancement of technology in gold mining, there came a bit of a gold boom.
After gold was first discovered in New Zealand - in 1852, Driving Creek, Coromandel - there came a hard-earned flurry of discovery through alluvial deposits (river gravel) by miners working by hand.
Following that, in the early 1900s, there was underground mining - still done by hand, but by using tools to chip away at the rock and uncover deposits of gold.
With the introduction of machinery, there followed another boom in the 1980s when miners were able to carry out opencast hard rock mining.
Today there are at least 40 licensed mining companies operating small, medium and large-scale mining operations in three main areas: Coromandel, Otago and West Coast.
Modern mining must comply with the environmental conditions laid out in the Resource Management Act 1991. Past mining often polluted rivers with silt, and many sites were abandoned and left to go to wrack and ruin. Today’s mining operations must leave the land in the same or better condition as it was before being mined.
With gold revered as one of the world’s most valuable resources, it’s still an incredibly viable metal for companies to commit to mining. Even now, some 169-odd years after gold was first discovered in New Zealand, there are estimates around that suggest that hundreds of thousands of tonnes are still yet to be discovered in these gold-rich areas of New Zealand. Some of it will be held in secret by the land forevermore, and some of it we’re lucky enough to work with to create our stunning range of jewellery.