NZ activists say ‘keep coal in the hole’

Anti mining activists will come together at the annual ‘Keep Coal in the Hole’ festival which is to be held in New Zealand next weekend.

Boasting workshops, mine tours and an international guest speaker, the festival is expected to attract hundreds of anti-lignite mining activists protesting Solid Energy’s proposed lignite mining project in New Zealand’s Mataura Valley, reported.

The $25 million plan was expected to start production last year but has suffered setbacks.

Australian crop farmer Rob McCreath, who founded community group Friends of Felton which helped stop a proposed coalmine in Queensland, is also speaking at the event.

Coal Action Murihiku co-convener Jenny Campbell said the activists’ biggest concerns are the loss of farmland and agricultural jobs, as well as environmental and health impacts the mining development would cause.

"We've got lots of support, we could stop it.

"The bottom's already fallen out of the coal market."

Campbell added that last year’s festival which 300 people attended had "made them [Solid Energy] aware that we are watching".

The festival runs from January 18-21 in Southland, New Zealand. Tickets are available online.

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