Greenies run out of gas in appealing Denniston Plateau coal mine

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society won't appeal an Environment Court ruling signing off on a planned coal mine for the West Coast's Denniston Plateau after cutting a deal with mining company Bathurst Resources [NZX: BRL] yesterday.

The environmental lobbyist has agreed not to appeal the final consent process and in return Bathurst won't do anything in its control to cause open cast mining in a defined protection area, the entities said in separate statements. The parties also agreed to let court costs fall where they lie in respect to the wider appeals process.

"This agreement is a significant milestone for the Escarpment Mine Project," Bathurst chief executive Hamish Bohannon "It gives Bathurst increased certainty and the company now has a much greater level of confidence around being able to commence mining activities as soon as possible."

Last month the Environment Court granted consents for the project, ending a two-year battle waged in the courts, which have largely been in Bathurst's favour.

Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin said the group cut the deal because a successful appeal might not have prevented the mine, and that this was a way to ensure Bathurst protects the reserve area.

Bathurst shares were unchanged at 24 cents yesterday, and have climbed 26 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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