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Carter approves permit to move Powelliphanta snail

27 February 2006

Carter approves permit to move Powelliphanta snails

Conservation Minister Chris Carter has approved a permit under the Wildlife Act to allow Solid Energy to move a small population of Powelliphanta Augustus snails at the southern end of its Stockton Mine.

Solid Energy discovered two live Powelliphanta Augustus snails in its A12 Mining Block on the Stockton Plateau on February 8. It called a halt to mining operations and on February 22 sought the permission of the Ministers of Conservation and Energy to move any Powelliphanta Augustus snails in the immediate area to a new habitat, and resume mining.

Mr Carter said he had today granted that permit under the Wildlife Act, provided all appropriate steps were taken to move the snails safely, and the on going health of the population was monitored.

"I believe it is sensible for this population of Powelliphanta Augustus to be shifted to a more secure location," he said.

"The habitat of this population is in the midst of Solid Energy's existing mining operations, and has been largely destroyed. Only a small fragment remains, supporting what appears to be a very small population of snails. As a consequence, is extremely unlikely that the population will remain viable where it is."

The permit granted today is separate from an additional application to Ministers by Solid Energy for permission to move another population of Powelliphanta Augustus on an area that the company wishes to start mining shortly.

Mr Carter is awaiting further advice on that application, and will make a decision in due course.

ENDS

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