Coasters pay $127,000 for Bathurst

By Laura Mills

The ongoing saga over the proposed Denniston coalmine, which is still before the courts, has already cost West Coast ratepayers $127,000.
Australian-based Bathurst Resources has just had to raise $18.9 million from institutional investors to help with its cashflow. It has spent about $300 million acquiring properties around the Denniston Plateau and making it ready to begin production.
It estimates it needs a further $105m to ramp up production from initially 640,00 tonnes to more than 1 million tonnes by year three.
Further decisions are due shortly from the Environment Court, High Court and Supreme Court. Only the latter cannot be appealed further.
The West Coast Regional Council has confirmed it has so far spent $127,000 in legal and expert witness costs.
“The $127,000 does not include (council) staff time,” corporate services manager Robert Mallinson said.
Analysts, including Chris Baker from Straterra, say Bathurst is now a “powerful advertisement” to not invest in New Zealand. The consent battle recently passed the two-year mark.