The consent process for a planned gold mining operation on the Clutha River near Millers Flat is on hold, with the applicant saying the delay is disappointing.

Hawkeswood Mining Ltd had applied to the Central Otago District Council for land-use consent in an area beside the Clutha River just west of Millers Flat.

The consent was notified and submissions closed last month.

But the consent had now been put on hold by Hawkeswood Mining Ltd after an error was picked up.

Hawkeswood Mining Ltd operations manager Simon Johnstone said the council had made an error and put in the wrong figure for the volume of earthworks to be carried out.

He said the correct volume of earthworks would be put in sometime this week.

Council planning and infrastructure acting group manager Lee Webster said the volumes were provided to the applicant in the council’s report. The applicant agreed to the notification with these volumes.

The council looked forward to the applicant providing the updated volumes in due course.

Mr Johnstone said the delay was a blow and would push back the project even further. He hoped the consents would be finalised by the end of the year but the mining operation was unlikely to get under way — if consent was granted — by March next year.

Delays were just part of the resource consent process these days, he said.

The company was waiting to hear from the Otago Regional Council about whether its consent for in-river operations would have to be publicly notified, he said.

The company has already received a minerals mining permit from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals.

It wants to establish and operate analluvial gold-mining operation.

It is seeking a five-year duration for the consent.

It has been granted an exploratory permit, which it is now operating under.

The mine, if approved, would be a low-emissions operation, with a floating dredge and large dump trucks, the company said.

Such technology could bring down the operating life of the mine from an estimated 14 years to five, it said.

The dredge weighs 270 tonnes.

The mining of the site would operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm and on Saturday from 7am to 1pm with no work occurring on Sundays or public holidays.

Overburden would be removed with excavators and dump trucks and stockpiled on site.

Up to 20 staff would be employed on the project, including machinery operators, mechanics and engineers.

The depth of excavation varies across the site, with the base of the gold-bearing wash layer being located about 8m to 15m below ground level.

At the northern end of the site, it was proposed to maintain a dry working area, above natural ground level.

The Clutha Cycle Trail, which runs through the land, would not be closed during the mine’s operation, the company said.