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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news