West Coast specialist coking coal mine developer Bathurst
Resources has bought a small thermal coal mine near
The company has been unable to start mining at its Denniston
Plateau development because of multiple legal challenges to
council consents it was issued almost two years ago.
Bathurst has purchased several small operating coal mines
around the South Island, including the Cascade mine, next to
the Denniston Plateau, for domestic sales.
It bought Canterbury Coal Ltd, which has an open pit thermal
coal mine near Coalgate about 70km west of Christchurch, for
up to $600,000, and signed a three-year deal to supply up to
55,000 tonnes of coal annually to a dairy processing plant.
Bathurst managing director Hamish Bohannan said while annual
mine production would start at 50,000 tonnes, he forecast it
would grow ''over the next few years'' to 100,000 tonnes to
meet Canterbury's dairy and industrial demand.
''The proximity of the mine to these markets gives us a
distinct freight advantage over our competitors to target
this growth potential,'' he said in a statement yesterday.
The mine's thermal coal was in high demand from local and
dairy food processors because of its low sulphur and ash
content, he said.
Recent drilling by Canterbury Coal identified an estimated
coal resource of 3.3 million tonnes.
Bathurst is also negotiating for a 50% stake in Rolleston's
Kenroll Coal Yard to provide a consented coal yard, plant and
equipment, weighbridge, and screening facilities.
The company and assets purchase is conditional on consent to
assignment of several permissions, and also the Minister of
Energy and Resources agreeing to the permit transfer.
Following several court judgements in its favour, Bathurst is
edging towards the start of mining around the Denniston
Plateau by the end of the year.
However, Forest and Bird could yet appeal the latest
decision, judgements on related issues are pending from the
Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and permission for road
access to the plateau must be granted.