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

 

Sage says Sullivan Mine didn't meet economic benefit test

Land Information Minister Sage says Sullivan Mine didn't meet economic benefit test

By Jonathan Underhill

Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Bathurst Coal couldn't persuade Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage that its plan to buy Solid Energy's mothballed Sullivan Mine on the Denniston Plateau was a good enough deal for New Zealand.

She declined the application using the sensitive land test and said the deal failed to provide a convincing economic benefit or job creation case.

“Given the ongoing volatility of the coal price there is considerable uncertainty about whether the proposal would result in any economic benefit or jobs for the West Coast," Sage said. "Indeed, Bathurst has itself suspended operations at the larger Escarpment Mine in Denniston."

Solid Energy's creditors will get at least 60 cents in the dollar when the failed state-owned enterprise's mines are all sold, up from the previous range of 45 cents to 55 cents. In August, a Bathurst-Talley's Group company gained Overseas Investment Office approval to buy Solid Energy's Stockton, Rotowaro and Maramarua mines and other property for $96 million. Bathurst stock has soared 214 percent in the past 12 months on optimism it would benefit from a recovery in coking coal prices.

But Sage says the lack of activity at 19 hectare Sullivan Mine site is likely to continue, so the sale doesn't provide a benefit.

"I don’t consider the benefit will be, or is likely to be, ‘substantial and identifiable’ as required by the Overseas Investment Act," she said. "The Sullivan mine has not been operational since 1995 and Bathurst had no plans to re-open it."

She made clear that her decision went against official advice. “As Minister of Land Information, I weighed up the OIO’s information on this matter very carefully. While its advice was, on balance, in favour of allowing the purchase, I decided there was insufficient benefit to New Zealand to consent."

The decision was made jointly with associate Finance Minister David Clark. But Sage wears two hats in looking over resource-rich Crown land with the conservation portfolio. Forest & Bird is appealing against the green light given to Stevenson Mining to mine coking coal at Te Kuha on the Buller River. The conservation minister must give their assent to the project because it extends over into stewardship land administered by her department.

The value of the Sullivan Mine deal wasn't disclosed in the public version of the OIO decision, which noted the mine hadn't been operational for 20 years and that Bathurst "had no firm plans" to re-open it and wouldn't do so until coal prices were more favourable.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Land Report: Issues With Soil Degradation

An environmental report released today has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals. More>>

ALSO:

Water Quality Report: Cause For Optimism

National River Water Quality Trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) this week, reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. More>>

ALSO:

IMF Report On NZ: Positive Economic Outlook

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has welcomed the IMF’s Concluding Statement, released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy. More>>

ALSO:

Retail Power Price: Review Panel Named

The Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has released the details of who will sit on an expert advisory panel which is tasked with leading a review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:


Increasingly Disruptive Threats: Govt Cyber Security Refresh

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran today announced a comprehensive refresh of New Zealand’s approach to cyber security. More>>

ALSO:


Regional Growth: Action Plan To Modernise Taranaki’s Economy

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $20 million to help future-proof the Taranaki region by diversifying its economy, creating additional jobs and leveraging off the strong base the region has established through its oil, gas and agricultural ... More>>

ALSO:

Winding Down Irrigation: Funding Ends For Crown Irrigation Investment

The Government has begun winding down public funding for large-scale irrigation through Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL), in line with the Coalition Agreement and the Confidence & Supply Agreement. More>>

ALSO: