Bathurst should give up their resource consents to the Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird is calling on Bathurst Resources Limited to surrender their access rights and resource consents for coal mining on the high value conservation land of the Denniston Plateau, after the announcement today that the mine will close in May.

Forest & Bird fought for many years to protect Denniston Plateau which is a unique landscape and ecosystem, formed under unusual conditions over tens of millions of years.

“Coal is a dirty form of energy whose time has passed. We now need to give the whole of the Buller Coal Plateau the protection it deserves by adding it to Schedule 4,” says Forest & Bird’s Campaigns and Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell.

“The Plateau is a very unusual part of New Zealand’s conservation estate and we must ensure there is enough money left in Bathurst’s bond to rehabilitate the area."

“They must not be allowed to stop their activities, pull out, and leave the environment in a mess for the taxpayers to clean up.”

“Furthermore, this announcement shows that the Government urgently needs to rethink its emphasis on supporting the twilight fossil fuel industries of coal, oil and gas,” says Mr Hackwell.

“Hopefully Bathurst’s decision to close the mine will discourage the Department of Conservation from approving any other coal mining on high value conservation lands. Coal mining is not an economically viable business and the cost to nature is too high.”