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


Pike River coal mine officially opened today

Hon Gerry Brownlee 

Energy and Resources Minister

27 November 2008
Media Statement


Pike River coal mine officially opened today 

The Minister of Energy and Resources, and Economic Development, Gerry Brownlee, today opened the new Pike River coal mine in the Paparoa Ranges, 50 kilometres north-east of Greymouth.

"New Zealand’s mineral resources are a significant contributor to our economic prosperity."

Mr Brownlee says the Pike River coalfield is New Zealand’s largest known deposit of hard coking coal, with an in-ground resource of almost 60 million tonnes in the main Brunner seam.

“The project will recover an estimated 18 million tonnes of coal over its 18-year life. That will make a significant contribution to our exports and our economy, particularly on the West Coast.

“Around 150 people are expected to be employed by Pike River when the mine reaches full production in July 2009. The mine will also provide employment for another 450 people in support and servicing industries.”

Mr Brownlee says it is particularly pleasing that the Department of Conservation has recently presented Pike River Coal with a certificate recognising 'the environmental consideration it has demonstrated'.

”The successful development of this project required a carefully crafted marriage of good mining practice and environmental good management. No trucks will be necessary to carry the coal down the mountain - reducing noise, dust, and damage to the access road - and the mine’s surface footprint has been kept to a minimum to reduce the mine’s environmental impact.

"The Pike River coal mine is a good example of mining and the environment successfully co-existing.”


The potential of the Pike River coal field was first established around 1980 following a major coal exploration programme. There was some scepticism that the development would ever come off. Geology, access, environmental and economic constraints all contributed towards making this an extremely challenging project. Consenting and developing the mine took more than 10 years.
The mine went through a rigorous environmental examination during the resource consent process and in gaining access from the Minister of Conservation. DOC recently presented Pike River Coal with a certificate recognising “the environmental consideration it has demonstrated”.
The mine has a small footprint, has minimised the effects of its operations on native vegetation and waterways, and has a conservative approach over the amount of coal mined to protect the surface from effects related to subsidence, by mining only 30% of the deposit.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The SFO’s Investigation Of New Zealand First

On one level. New Zealand First has been the agent of its own misfortune. The New Zealand First Foundation handling the donations at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office investigation was reportedly (a) authorised by the NZF party’s board and (b)the money was apparently used to finance the party’s activities. Yet the disclosure trail remained opaque. According to its critics, NZF can’t have it both ways: it can’t claim that the foundation and the party were entirely separate legal entities, and then go to court to try and block the SFO from releasing its findings because of the likely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes... More>>


Election: Advance Voting Starts October 3rd

Voters will head to the polls on Saturday when nearly 450 advance voting places open their doors for this year’s election and referendums. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the popularity of advance voting has been rising steadily – ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% More>>


Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>


Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>


Science Media Centre: Managing COVID-19 Risk From Overseas - Expert Reaction

A flurry of new imported COVID-19 cases has been announced today, with ten on the same flight from India. Twelve new cases in total have been detected in managed isolation facilities today. The Ministry of Health said the high number of cases reflects that ... More>>


Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at . Advance voting ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels