New Zealand coal mine gets a greenlight

Australian miner Bathurst Resources has been given approvals for its Escarpment open cut coal mine in New Zealand.

The approvals from the NZ Department of Conservation will now allow Bathurst to begin earthworks and site preparation.

However the miner has noted that it will hold off from ramping up in to full production, and will merely be in readiness to move into full mining operations once global coking coal prices recover.

“Coal production areas will be cleared and other earthworks will be undertaken to prepare the site to transition top steady state operations when economic conditions warrant full commercial production,” Bathurst said in a company statement.

Activities are slated to begin from next month.

The announcement was welcomed by the region’s mayor Garry Howard, who said the news is good for the area’s economy.

“This is a bit of a glimmer that there are other jobs out there in the district," he told NZ Newswire.

It is welcone news for the region, which has recently seen more than 100 mining jobs set to be cut from Solid Energy's Stockon coal mine and around 60 jobs from OceanaGold's Reefton gold mine.

Once the mine goes in to full production it is expected to create around 200 jobs, however only a few workers will be needed in this early construction phase.

Around 35 000 tonnes of coal will be mined in the first six months of site work.


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