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The Favona underground gold mine located at Waihi in New Zealand began its productive life in 2004 but it was not until 2006 when production of gold and silver got underway officially, using modified Avoca retreat long hole benching under the supervision of Leighton Contractors Mining Division. The Favona mine produced around 100,000 ounces of gold annually. The mine has now ceased production.

Leighton Contractors Mining Division Began Development of the Favona Mine in 2004

Leighton Contractors Mining Division provided a full range of underground mining services to the former owner, Newmont Waihi Gold, since the mine's inception in 2004. Services provided by Leighton have included all underground development and stoping using conventional drilling and blasting techniques along with all transportation and maintenance requirements. Leighton Contractors Mining Division operated the Favona underground mine on a 24 hour, 365 days a year basis and employed in excess of 100 people with most workers living locally at Waihi.

Favona Mine Produces Around 400,000 Tonnes of ore Annually

During the 10 years of operation the Favona mining activities have mined around 400,000 tonnes of gold bearing ore annually as well as an average of about 7,000 metres of horizontal development each year with 100,000 metres of production drilling. Ongoing mining activity at the Favona operation included backfilling, dewatering, the installation of ground support that comprises meshing, strapping and rock bolting. Work at the mine also included drilling blasting and excavation of the ore along with vertical and level portal and decline development.

Full Gold Production Commenced at the Favona Mine in 2006

Construction began on the Favona decline in the latter half of 2004 with some ore being mined during the decline development as it progressed. Full ore production began at the Favona mine in 2006 with the ore being treated at the same gold and silver processing plant that also serviced the Martha open pit production. By the start of 2012 the Favona mine contained 23,000 metres of decline and drives.

Favona Mine Operates From the Bottom up

Mining of the gold bearing ore at the Favona underground mine is undertaken using modern mechanised techniques beginning at a depth of 335 metres and working its way up to the surface. The mined out stopes are backfilled as mining progresses to allow access upwards to the next level. The backfilling gives stability to the mining taking place overhead with no large voids being left behind. This mining technique was also used successfully at the nearby Martha underground workings. The now mined out Trio underground mine was also accessed through the Favona portal. Mining began at the Trio mine in 2012 and it produced about 200,000 ounces of gold from the mining of one million tonnes of ore before it closed in 2014.

The Favona gold mine is fully owned by OceanaGold Corporation who acquired the operation from Newmont in October, 2015.


A gold producer with operational assets in New Zealand and the Phillipines and exploration leases in Australia.OceanaGold was encorporated in 2003 and listed on the ASX and NZX in 2004.The companies flagship project, Macraes Open Pit mine and Frasers underground, on the South Island, is more


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