Plan to expand Canterbury coal mine defended

Coal miner Bathurst Resources is defending its plans to expand its Canterbury Coal Mine into another 18 hectares of forest, farms, and wetland.

The 38ha mine at Coalgate, near Darfield, supplies 95,000 tonnes of low sulphur coal annually to regional customers, including dairy factories.

Environmental groups feared for fragile eco-systems - including aquatic life in nearby waterways - if it gained the resource consents needed to expand.

Forest & Bird's Canterbury and Westland manager Nicky Snoyink was among several lobbyists opposing the plan.

Snoyink said aquatic species in Selwyn District's waterways were already under enough strain.

But Bathurst Resources chief executive Richard Tacon rejected that, saying the mine's "active footprint" would not change significantly.

Older workings at the mine would be rehabilitated.

Bathurst Resources also said the mine provided Canterbury customers with relatively clean-burning coal.

Climate action group Extinction Rebellion said members might occupy the mine if it was allowed to expand.

A spokesperson, Siana Fitzjohn, said it would be wrong to let the coal industry grow during the climate emergency.









Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter