Two of New Zealand's contaminated mine sites will be cleaned of toxic substances following a funding agreement signed by the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation.

The two mine sites, Prohibition and Alexander, have been releasing poisons into the ground at the country's South Island.

New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith said: "The Prohibition and Alexander mine sites are acutely toxic and a blight on New Zealand's clean, green reputation.

"The levels of arsenic are among the highest recorded anywhere in the world at 400,000 parts per million on land, or 500 times the safe level, and in water at 300 parts per million, or 33,000 times the safe limit for drinking water."

"The levels of arsenic are among the highest recorded anywhere in the world at 400,000 parts per million on land, or 500 times the safe level."

The mine sites also have high levels of mercury and cyanide and are situated on one site near Reefton in the West Coast region.

New Zealand's Government will spend NZD$3m ($2.26m) on the remediation and to prevent contamination spreading to surrounding areas.

Source: mining-technology.com - see full article