Foulden Maar – the most important terrestrial fossil site in New Zealand – What happens when science and mining collide?

Friday 26 July at 6.00pm, at the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Honorary Associate Professor Daphne Lee, Department of Geology, University of Otago.
Cost: $5.

Foulden Maar near Middlemarch is a small volcanic crater lake filled with 120 m of annually laminated diatomite. It is one of the most valuable fossil sites in the Southern Hemisphere. Formed after a violent eruption 23 million years ago, the sediments deposited on its anoxic lake bed preserve an astonishing array of exquisitely preserved fossils including leaves, flowers, fruits, fish and insects. The sediments also contain the most detailed Miocene climate record for the mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere at a time of much warmer climate.

But there is a proposal to turn the treasures from New Zealand’s most important fossil site into pig food. What happens when scientific values, research and education are in a collision course with the plans of an offshore mining company?​