Bathurst says High Court ruling on environment appeal generally favourable
Bathurst Resources, which wants to mine for coal on the Denniston Plateau on the South Island's West Coast, says it chalked up another court win against an environment group.
Perth-based Bathurst says the High Court dismissed three of five points of appeal against it by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society.
Of the remaining two points, the High Court asked the Environment Court to keep separate its consideration of mitigation of mining activities and offsets related to Bathurst's proposed biodiversity enhancement package and to also have regard to the possibility of future mining within Bathurst's other mining permits on the Denniston Plateau when imposing consent conditions.
The court declined Forest and Bird's request that greater weight should be placed on mitigation as opposed to offsets, Bathurst says.
Bathurst managing director Hamish Bohannan says he is pleased with the result, which is generally favourable.
Forest & Bird says the distinction between mitigation and offsets is important because activities that are mitigation get special consideration.
"We argued that mitigation must directly reduce the impact of the mining activity," said Debs Martin, Forest and Bird's Top of the South field officer. "The offset proposals could not be mitigation as they weren't related to the mining activities and would occur in areas away from the proposed mine."
The High Court decision clears the way for the next Environment Court hearing on June 12, after Bathurst was given Conservation Department clearance to mine the plateau last month.
Shares in Bathurst were unchanged at 21 cents, having dropped 58 percent this year.