Reefton Mine Restoration | Reefton, New Zealand | Boffa Miskell

The Reefton Mine Restoration Project has been rehabilitating the former Globe Process Mine just outside the Buller town of Reefton for several years. The project has involved extensive waste rock land-forming, installation of a passive water treatment system, spreading of topsoil, and planting of over 800,000 native seedlings with pest and predator control.

As part of the last stage of The Reefton Restoration Project infrastructure and plant removal, Oceana Gold engaged Boffa Miskell to prepare high-level conceptual studies and visualisations to illustrate how this site could be rehabilitated in an ecologically and recreationally positive manner while retaining relics and landform legacies of the site’s long industrial history.

There are a number of natural lookout points over the mine excavations. The processing plant site includes historical artefacts and features from earlier mining operations and the Cornishtown settlement that occupied the site in the early 1900’s. This includes daffodils that were planted by early miners around their homes and have remained on the site.

The concept plan explores how the process plant foundations could be retained and developed as a recreational point of interest with links to a wider trail network through adjacent Victoria Forest Park to Reefton and further afield to other inland West Coast destinations.

Restoration plantings are interwoven around the old foundations and structures from the ore processing plant to create a post-industrial indigenous landscape. Signage and heritage artefacts are arranged to provide a narrative of the site’s history and the rehabilitation story as visitors move through.

This conceptual work will be used by a working group formed with Oceana Gold, Iwi partners and the Depatment of Conservation to engage with stakeholders to determine the best outcome for the site.

Reefton Mine Restoration

Location: Reefton, New Zealand

Landscape Architect: Boffa Miskell
Gabe Ross, project lead
Laura Pyne
Elle Fairgray
Robert Gordon, Visual Simulations

Client: Oceana Gold

Images Credit: Boffa Miskell

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at