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High Court rejects appeal on Cypress Opencast Mine

High Court rejects appeal on Cypress Opencast Mine

Solid Energy has welcomed today’s High Court decision rejecting all grounds of Forest and Bird’s appeal against the Environment Court’s grant of consents to develop and undertake mining at the planned Cypress Opencast Mine in the Buller.

Detailed planning and preparation work is now underway to enable development to start on site in 2006.

In June 2005, the Environment Court upheld a decision by the West Coast Regional and Buller District Councils to grant consents for the proposed mine subject to a comprehensive set of conditions that represented the outcomes of negotiations with a number of interested parties, including the Department of Conservation and Ngakawau Riverwatch. The Environment Court decision was appealed on points of law by Forest and Bird and the Buller Conservation Group. The appeal was heard in the High Court on 26 September 2005.

Solid Energy’s plan is to progressively mine 5 million tonnes of coal over 10 years at Cypress. As part of the development a 17 hectare fully fenced predator-controlled habitat will be created to protect the snail species powelliphanta patrickensis. Solid Energy will relocate as many live snails into the area as possible. Solid Energy also propose relocating ten great spotted kiwi from the mining site and undertaking predator control in a 1,000 hectare area of conservation estate near the mine.

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