Skip to main content
Start of main content

Historic Waiuta Gold Mine Site Remediation

Cleaning up a historic mine site to make it safe for visitors

  • $1.5M

    Project Cost

  • 1

    Year Duration

  • Waiuta, New Zealand

    Waiuta, New Zealand

A former gold processing site gets a new life on Aotearoa’s West Coast

Once in full operation during the early 1900s, the Prohibition Mine at Waiuta township processed arsenic-bearing ore by heating it to release gold. Abandoned in 1951, the mine’s now surrounded by mining relics and a ghost town. The gold processing area is a historic site that the Department of Conservation wanted to open to the public. The challenge? The site was heavily contaminated by high concentrations of accumulated arsenic on the ground and in the surface water—and the Department needed to make the site safe for visitors.

We provided detailed engineering and scientific oversight for the Prohibition Mine Contaminated Site Remediation project. Performing a technical peer review of previous remedial works, we identified any knowledge gaps and analyzed possible remediation options for the site—identifying and assessing six options. The preferred choice? A composite of on-site excavation, deposition, and in-situ covering, with the most heavily contaminated soils removed for off-site disposal. On-site waste rock tailings, known as mullock, from the original mine shaft were used as compacted site cover. A set of clean-up objectives was established for arsenic in site soils and in surface water leaving the site.

The outcome? The final remediated site meets all the remediation objectives—it’s aesthetically pleasing and safe for visitors to observe the historic mining features.

At a Glance

  • Department of Conservation

We're better together

  • Become a client

    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

    Contact Us
  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

    Join the Team
End of main content
To top