Bathurst Resources is set to close its Canterbury coal mine on the South Island of New Zealand due to ongoing costs and regulatory delays.
Bathurst stated that the company and local regulatory bodies had not been able to agree on a longer-term economic solution for the mine.
The company will continue to supply coal from Canterbury to its customers until this June this, after which the mine will be placed on care and maintenance.
The Canterbury mine is Bathurst’s smallest mine, with expected earnings for the current fiscal year amounting to just $NZ2 million ($1.9 million).
The mine produces low sulphur coal mainly for the local dairy industry, delivering over 100,000 tonnes during the previous financial year.
Bathurst chief executive Richard Tacon said this was not an easy decision to make.
“We have worked hard to turn around a small mine into a well-run, award winning and environmentally sound operation that provides jobs for New Zealanders in a regional area,” he said.
“We have reached the point at which the time frames and cost of regulatory processes outweigh the commercial returns of continuing to operate the mine.
“This was an outcome that we fought to prevent, recognising the cost of the staged job losses that will follow.”
The employer of 600 people stated that all its other operations had long-term regulatory consents in place.
The company has five operating mines in New Zealand, three of which are owned via a joint venture arrangement.