Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Alleged Big River Quartz Mine vandals to face court

West Coast Police have charged four men over damage caused to the historic Big River Quartz Mine in June and July this year.

Police received a report that between 10 June and 7 July, a group of people had entered the mine site and set off an explosive in the mine shaft.

“This caused significant damage to the 12-metre high poppet head structure above the mine shaft,” Police said in a statement today.

The area is registered as a Category 1 Historic Place.

The offending was filmed and shared on social media, leading to a number of enquiries being undertaken in Reefton and Hokitika, Police said.

Last week Police executed five search warrants at residential addresses. A total of six men were arrested, and four of them are now facing charges of arson in relation to the damage at Big River.

The men, aged between 20 and 53, are due to appear in the Greymouth District Court on Wednesday.

“Enquiries are ongoing to identify and locate further people suspected of being involved,” Police said.

Anyone who has any information which may assist is asked to contact Police by calling 105 and quoting file number 210707/6710.

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