Bathurst chairman slams never-ending NZ appeals

Bathurst Resources chairman Craig Munro has thanked shareholders for their patience as the would-be Denniston Plateau coal miner deals with "what seems like the never-ending appeals process that allows minority groups to stifle development in New Zealand".

Speaking at Bathurst's annual meeting in Sydney, Mr Munro bemoaned the appeals mounted by environmental objectors to the company's plans for open-cut mining of high-grade coking coal on the previously mined and ecologically significant plateau above Westport.

"This is obviously very time-consuming, costly and non-productive from both company's and the majority of New Zealanders' point of view, but under current legislation necessary."

The company was "actively working to reach a settlement with the appellants", the Royal Forest and Bird Society and a West Coast environmental action network opposed to coal mining.

Neither objector has given any indication a negotiated settlement would be possible.

"It is only once we reach our target production profile and our borrowing facilities have been repaid that dividends could potentially start to flow to our shareholders," Mr Munro says.

However, the company remained optimistic that appeals being heard on resource consent issues and climate change impacts would be over in the first half of next year, to allow production to begin in mid-2013.

The Buller coal project is targeting one million tonnes of coal a year from its first mine, Escarpment, and ultimately is targeting four million tonnes a year by 2018.

Mr Munro noted political support for the project from Prime Minister John Key. "Political leaders both want and need us to succeed." 

Bathurst has faced criticism and impatience, particularly from Australian shareholders accustomed to less complex resource consenting processes. Its shares were steady today at 44 cents and have traded between $1.10 and 36 cents in the last 12 months.


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...and this is another prime example of why the RMA needs extensive over-haul.

Giving a vocal minority the ability to over-ride the benefits of a large scale employment project for an entire Region and all of NZ Inc is simply stupid... nad not what the RMA intended.

Just because vocal locals can and do get a say does not lend credibility to their rationale or actions, nor the holding of an entire community to ransom because a project doesn't fit with their greenwashing story.

Shut up the minority and get on with best-practise mining with best practise remediation of the site as the project evolves...

How many times has the Christchurch Cathedral almost been demolished? Case in point....


This situation Bathurst is in a prime example as to why a Labour/Green government would be a total disaster for NZ.
This type of government will bring our productive secter to it's knees.
We continually hear about poverty and high unemployment but the green extreme have no regard for for any of these issues.

And what about you oldies,you shouldn't have to work until you are 67, support projects like this and there will be no need to lift the retirement age.


Some of these minority groups are committing acts/crimes against the best interests of all New Zealanders. Treat them as such and send them all to an offshore island and let them fend for themselves without all the benefits of income, employment, progress, etc.


Why do we need any more coal mines, oil wells, dairy farms or polluting industries, we are can easily occupy our total population 100% of the time talking about saving the planet, create endless tax payer funded committees, that never arrive at workable conclusions, discovering our or someone else’s inner selves, deciding what is best for every other New Zealander, deciding what is best for the rest of the world, saving the whales, dolphins, seals, ……….pigs, chickens ………snails.

The answer is while we are doing all these good works you polluting planet killers need to PAY US !! directly or indirectly.


you forgot sitting around an ecologically safe campfire, playing the guitar and singing Joan Baez songs.


Oh to forget the sins of our polluting fathers, I will have another wine tonight while I seek the truth to "what is a ecologically safe campfire"


Another classic illustration of the tyranny of the minority, who use the RMA as a WMD (weapon of massive delays).


Instead of challenging the Greens and Labour to support the Bathhurst project, National should amend the RMA to prevent the Gary Taylor (EDS) types from delaying projects. That's the real issue and that's within the government's power to change - right now!


Why would the Government do that, the EDS receives taxpayer funding via the Government. Try and work that one out.


Reality check - MD Hamish Bohemin over promised on timeframe and ignored advice pointing that out. He said mininv would start late 2011. On the basis of unrealistic timeframes First NZ raised money for Bathurst. I predict June 2015 before coal flies from dennistown and another capital raise required to cover the current monthly high burn rate.


Watch this space. The problem is identified, The solution is obvious, The action required lies in the hands of our Government -in particular Minister Joyce. will he act or will he offer more spin?

Dont hold your breath


Destroying a unique ecosystem will do nothing for New Zealand's long-term prospects. Our fortunes are closely tied to our marketability as a place where the environemnt is protected...which sells holidays, food, clothing etc.

The RMA is vital to ensuring that New Zealand's and New Zealander's best interests are factored into decisionmaking. That's why it's got to stay.


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