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

 


Bathurst announces slow start to Escarpment mine

Bathurst announces slow start to Escarpment mine

By Pattrick Smellie

June 18 (BusinessDesk) - Bathurst Resources is to begin site works and extracting coal from a much reduced area of its consented Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau, above the South Island west coast town of Westport following the extension of its $22 million, five-year commitment to payments for the Department of Conservation to seven years.

Bathurst earlier this year all but put the Escarpment coking coal project in mothballs, reducing local staff and warning the development would have to await better prices for the high quality coal, which is used in the steel-making process.

However, the company went on to raise some $10 million in a placement to institutions and a rights issue shareholders in April and May respectively, and has now gained an Authority to Enter and Operate (AEO) on the site, whose development was hotly contested by environmental groups, whose appeals against the resource consents originally granted in August 2011 stretched the permissions process out by more than two years, to the frustration of Australian investors in Bathurst unused to New Zealand resource law constraints.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith announced the change from a five to a seven year schedule for payment of $22 million to DoC to compensate for the loss of conservation values caused by the project, and outlined a smaller mining plan than originally envisaged.

"Bathurst Resources will now construct the mine over an extended period and reduce the area that will be mined in the first two years from 62.2 hectares to 19.3 hectares and reduce the amount of coal extracted in this time period from 558 kilotons to 75 kilotons."

Production would ramp up further "when market conditions are more favourable," said Smith.

The announcement of a cautious start at Escarpment comes on a day when the government's resource extraction strategy took a serious knock, with the rejection of an application by TransTasman Resources to mine ironsands in the Exclusive Economic Zone, 22 kilometres off the coast of Patea in the south Taranaki Bight.

In a separate statement to the NZX, Bathurst said it planned to enter the site from July 1 and that initial works would comprise site clearing, initial water management dams and drainage systems, installation of coal stockpile areas, site roads and basic infrastructure, including a site office and the site readied for "when economic conditions warrant full commercial production."

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Tourism: China Southern Airlines To Fly To Christchurch

China Southern Airlines, in partnership with Christchurch Airport and the South Island tourism industry, has announced today it will begin flying directly between Guangzhou, Mainland China and the South Island. More>>

ALSO:

Dodgy: Truck Shops Come Under Scrutiny

Mobile traders, or truck shops, target poorer communities, particularly in Auckland, with non-compliant contracts, steep prices and often lower-quality goods than can be bought at ordinary shops, a Commerce Commission investigation has found. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport: Government, Council Agree On Funding Approach

The government and Auckland Council have reached a detente over transport funding, establishing a one-year, collaborative timetable for decisions on funding for the city's transport infrastructure growth in the next 30 years after the government refused to fund the $2 billion of short and medium-term plans outlined in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

Bullish On China Shock: Slumping Equities, Commodities May Continue, But Not A GFC

The biggest selloff in stock markets in at least four years, slumping commodity prices and a surge in Wall Street's fear gauge don't mean the world economy is heading for another global financial crisis, fund managers say. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Investors Driving Up Auckland Housing Risk - RBNZ

The growing presence of investors in Auckland's property market is increasing the risks, and is likely to both amplify the housing cycle and worsen the potential damage from a downturn both to the financial system and the broader economy, said Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer. More>>

ALSO:

Annual Record: Overseas Visitors Hit 3 Million Milestone

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand surpassed 3 million for the first time in the July 2015 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The record-breaking 3,002,982 visitors this year was 7 percent higher than the July 2014 year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news