Shares in West Coast specialist coal mine developer Bathurst
Resources have more than doubled in value since the
resolution of court challenges in its favour. Coal production
from the Denniston plateau above Westport could be under way
by the end of December.
Bathurst has been forced to defend its gaining of resource
consents to mine export quality hard coking coal for two
years, largely because of legal challenges by Forest and
including through the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and
From a year high of 60c per share 12 months ago to a low of
13c in June, Bathurst shares during the past nine trading
days rose 118% from 15.3c to trade as high as 33c yesterday,
then settled below 30c.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said without
the threat and cost of legal challenges, the company and
investors had ''certainty'' to focus on ramping up
operations, targeting more than 1 million tonnes of coal from
the plateau annually.
''This gives the project the green light. Investors can now
focus on mining [operation] outcome and cashflow,'' Mr
Shrinking cash in hand for Bathurst had been rejuvenated and
almost $25 million of fresh capital had been raised from
Australian shareholders and institutions in recent weeks.
Bathurst managing director Hamish Bohannan said while the
latest Environment Court decision could be appealed, the
difference now was that the resource consents had been
granted, so an appeal would not stop Bathurst from working.
He said ''we're literally only a few weeks away now'' from
starting work, and he expected trucks and loaders on site
''shortly after Christmas''.
There were 27 operating plans associated with the project,
ranging from waste management and stockpile management to
lizard and snail management and water management.
''Those plans have all been completed. They now get reviewed
and signed off by the [West Coast] councils, at the end of
which we'll get our licence to enter the land,'' he said in a