Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Work to begin on Denniston coal mine

Work to begin on Denniston coal mine


Approval has been given for Bathurst Resources to commence work on its Escarpment Mining Project on the Denniston Plateau near Westport, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“I granted an access agreement for Bathurst Resources in May last year under the Crown Minerals Act to construct and operate an open cast mine on 106 hectares of the 2026 hectares of stewardship land on the Denniston Plateau. The Department of Conservation today issued an Authority to Enter and Operate (AEO) which means the company will now be able to proceed with initial work on the site,” Dr Smith says.

The AEO announced today is for a six-month period. Bathurst Resources will need to submit another 12-month work programme for the Department to consider before another AEO is issued, and this will be required for every year for the life of the mine.

“Bathurst Resources was to provide a $22 million package over five years to the Department of Conservation in compensation for the loss of conservation values incurred by the project. However, changes in the international coal market since then have resulted in the company revising its mining schedule and accordingly, an application was made for a variation to the schedule of compensation which the Department has agreed to,” Dr Smith says.

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. The company plans to ramp up its operations when market conditions are more favourable.

The amount of compensation will remain the same, but the revised schedule will now see the original $22 million package paid over seven years, instead of five.

The compensation has been tagged for pest and predator control over 25,000 hectares of the Heaphy River catchment in the Kahurangi National Park, 4,500 hectares on and around the Denniston Plateau, as well as for historic projects on the Plateau itself.

“The change in the schedule of compensation will not affect the outcome of these conservation programmes which the Department will continue to proceed with. The Department has required all bonds and insurance to be in place before any work begins. It will also be monitoring the site regularly,” Dr Smith says.

Initial work by Bathurst Holdings on the site at Denniston Plateau is scheduled to begin from 1 July. It will involve site clearing, establishing initial water management dams and drainage systems, installation of coal stockpile areas, site roads and basic infrastructure including a site office and amenities. Coal production areas will be cleared and other earthworks will be undertaken to prepare the site for the company to eventually move into full mining operations.

“The approval of this access agreement and the revised timetable for the compensation package will be welcome news for the Buller community which has had a tough run of redundancies in recent weeks,” Dr Smith says.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news