Bathurst gains mining Solid Energy licence transfer


Australian-based coalmine developer Bathurst Resources has received clearance from government agency New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals for the transfer of two Solid Energy mining licences, including Stockton open-cast.
The licences also cover Solid Energy’s two mines near Huntly in the Waikato.
BT Mining, a joint venture involving Bathurst and Talley’s Energy, will receive the licences and exploration and mining permits for both areas. The purchase price reported last November was $46 million.
BT Mining is now awaiting clearance from the Overseas Investment Office.
In September 2015, 1500 creditors owed $400m by State-owned enterprise Solid Energy voted for a two and a-half year asset sell-down, after the company collapsed amid plummeting global coal prices and Solid Energy’s overextended accumulation of debt.
Between 2010 and 2014, Bathurst spent about $300m on preparing to mine the Denniston Plateau above Westport, but by the time it fought off environmental challenges the global coal price had slumped and it suspended operations in March last year.
It retained two smaller South Island mines for domestic customers, having produced more than 264,000 tonnes of coal during the year to March. Bathurst delisted from the NZX last year.
Bathurst chief executive Richard Tacon gave no indications about mining the new assets in a market update yesterday. Otago Daily Times

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