Ministers welcome court decision on Bathurst

  • Simon Bridges
  • Steven Joyce
Energy and Resources Economic Development

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges have welcomed the Environment Court’s decision to grant resource consents to Bathurst Resources for their Escarpment Mine on the West Coast of the South Island.

“The Escarpment Mine and associated works are expected to create 225 direct jobs and approximately $85 million each year will go to employees, suppliers, contractors and transport providers,” Mr Bridges says.

“This is great news for the West Coast. The mine will inject almost $1 billion into the New Zealand economy over six years, and provide $30 million each year in royalties and taxes,” Mr Joyce says.

“This is a significant injection into the local economies of Buller and the West Coast.”
“Unlike what opponents might say, this is exactly the type of business investment New Zealand needs to create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders,” Mr Bridges says.

Mr Bridges says the Escarpment Mine is expected to produce around 1 million tonnes of high quality coking coal annually for the life of the mine, and includes plans for related infrastructure.

The Escarpment Mine Project is almost entirely in the Mount Rochfort Conservation Area, which is deemed “stewardship” conservation land and therefore is not protected from mining.

As part of mitigating its impact on the environment, Bathurst’s access agreement with the Department of Conservation involves a $22 million, 35-year predator management programme over 25,000 hectares of the Heaphy River catchment in the Kahurangi National Park and a 50-year predator management programme over 4,500 hectares on the Denniston Plateau.

Bathurst has established an Environmental Reference Group to monitor and guide the environmental performance of the company’s operations.