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Cypress open cast mine very disappointing

Cypress open cast mine very disappointing

The consent conditions for a new huge open cast mine are not adequate to manage the adverse impacts on water quality, natural character, landscape, vegetation or wildlife, according to Forest and Bird.

"Solid Energy have pretty much been granted what they applied for" Forest and Bird's Field Officer, Tony Lockwood said today. "That is:

* A total disturbed area of about 400 rugby fields. This involves the removal of native beech forest and red tussock grassland for two opencast pits covering 105 ha and over another 100 ha for disposal of overburden, haul roads, office and workshop space.

* Diversion of natural creeks and streams around the mine site.

* Discharge of poorly treated mine water to St Pats Stream. Discharge conditions do not meet internationally accepted standards for water quality.

* Destruction of Great Spotted Kiwi and endangered giant land snail habitat.

"There has been some tightening of conditions in the decision. However, in an area of such outstanding natural values, the conditions are not adequate to manage the overall adverse effects on water quality, natural character, landscape, vegetation and wildlife," Mr Lockwood said

"Solid Energy has an extremely poor environmental record for managing its nearby Stockton Mine. Unfortunately, the West Coast Regional Council has an equally poor record of enforcing the conditions under which Solid Energy is supposed to operate," he said. "The decision has failed to adequately recognise the precedent setting nature of this application and how it relates to Solid Energy's intention to mine the whole valley. This application covers only about 20% of the area within the valley with economically recoverable coal resources," he said.

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