Govt to block West Coast mine bid

Photo: DoC
Photo: DoC

The Government is to block a bid to develop part of a coal mine, on conservation land, near Te Kuha in Buller.

Eugenie Sage
Eugenie Sage

The scheme by Rangatira Developments would have involved mining 12ha of conservation land.

The plan to mine on conservation land was about 10% of a proposal to build a large opencast mine, which would employ 58 people and mine 250,000 tonnes of coal annually.

The plan was challenged by Forest and Bird in the courts, but gained approval in the High Court earlier this year.

Today Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said she turned down the application to mine conservation land because it would create irreparable damage to the area.

She said it was an undisturbed area with threatened plants and wildlife including the great spotted kiwi, land snails and lizards.

It was not clear whether the rest of the project will still go ahead.

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