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The Environment Court will hear a declaration on the relevance of coal to climate change issues later this month, part of an appeal process against consents granted to Bathurst Resources last year.
Bathurst said in a brief market update yesterday its subsidiary, Buller Coal Ltd, was advised the Environment Court would hear the declaration concerning the effects of the use of coal on climate change on March 27 in Christchurch.
Bathurst is extracting a small amount of coal from its West Coast tenements around the Denniston Plateau near Westport, but wants to open up new areas and extract up to 2 million tonnes of highly sought-after hard coking coal.
While two councils have given more than 20 consents, a date is yet to be set for some of those consents to be appealed by Forest and Bird and the West Coast Environmental Network Inc, the latter wanting to include coal and climate change issues in the appeal.
Dual-listed Bathurst has spent more than $100 million to date on purchases and work around the Denniston plateau, estimated to hold 80 million tonnes of coal.
Forest and Bird has designated the plateau as its main environmental focus for the year and warns coal mining will destroy the ecosystems supporting rare flora and fauna.