Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Green light imminent for Bathurst's Escarpment mine

Green light imminent for Bathurst's Escarpment mine

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug 8 (BusinessDesk) - Bathurst Resources says it's received notice from the Environment Court that it will approve the company's long-delayed and environmentally controversial application to do open-cast mining for coking coal on the Denniston Plateau.

Bathurst had been in trading halt since yesterday afternoon. The shares did not move from the last traded price of 20 cents immediately following this morning's announcement.

Managing director Hamish Bohannan said in a statement to the NZX the court had informed parties that "consent is indicated for the Escarpment mine project, subject to final minor drafting on conditions of consent."

There was a 10 day deadline to conclude those issues, after which "we expect to receive consents as soon as the court has had time to consider that further information."

"Once consent is granted, Bathurst can move to the first stages of operations."

Bathurst plans eventually to take as much as 4 million tonnes a year of the high grade coking coal, used in steel-making, from the Buller coal fields, with the Escarpment mine being the first of several planned for ecologically fragile uplands above Westport. Resource consents were initially granted in August 2011, but faced numerous challenges, led by the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society.

The court required Bathurst to negotiate stronger commitments to environmental protection and clean-up, and the final remaining matters related mainly to rehabilitation obligations and the proposed Denniston Permanent Protection Area.

"The company is required to use 'best endeavours' to achieve an appropriate protection mechanism for this area," said Bohannan. "The court has expressed a preference for the local councils to be the suitable body to certify this has been the case."

Forest & Bird still has one outstanding attempted appeal against the proposal. It sought special leave from the Court of Appeal to look again at whether a permitted Solid Energy mine, known as the Sullivan Block, should have been considered as a factor in the resource consent application.

Both the Environment and High Courts have rejected this argument, reasoning that a mining permit is not sufficient to begin mining and that a resource consent would be required.

Bathurst's experience of delays has been a bugbear to its many Australian shareholders, who are accustomed to far faster consent decisions.

The share price has gained 21.9 percent in the last month, but has traded as low as 13 cents a share in the last year, compared with prices above $1.80 a share in early 2011.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime: Navigation Safety Review Raises Big Issues For The Govt

Shipping Federation: "The reports makes it clear that the ratification of the Maritime Labour convention (MLC) is long overdue. Only when the MLC is ratified will Maritime NZ be able to inspect and enforce the labour conditions on international ships visiting our ports." More>>

ALSO:

100 Years After Einstein Prediction: Gravitational Waves Found

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. More>>

ALSO:

Farming: Alliance Plans To Start Docking Farmer Payments

Alliance Group, New Zealand's second-largest meat cooperative, plans to start withholding some stock payments to its farmers from next week to bolster its balance sheet and force suppliers to meet their share requirements. More>>

ALSO:

Gambling: SkyCity First Half Profit Rises 30%, Helped By High Rollers

SkyCity anticipates the Auckland business will benefit from government gaming concessions which were triggered on Nov. 11 in recognition of SkyCity’s $470 million Convention Centre development. Morrison said the concessions would allow the Auckland business to lift its activity during peak period, noting it had a record revenue week over the Christmas and New Year period. More>>

ALSO:

Money For Light: Kiwi Scientists Secure Preferential Access To Synchrotron

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced a three-year investment of $2.8 million in the Australian Synchrotron, the largest piece of scientific infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, to secure preferential access for Kiwi scientists. More>>

Telco Industry Report: Investment Hits $1.7 Bln A Year

Investment in the telecommunications sector is $1.7 billion a year, proportionately one of the highest levels in the OECD, according to a report released today on the status of the New Zealand sector. More>>

ALSO:

PGPs: New Programme Sets Sights On Strong Wool

A new collaboration between The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), announced today, aims to deliver premiums for New Zealand's strong wool sector... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news