Canterbury Coal Mine Closure will Raise Carbon Miles
Mounting consenting costs and delays leading to Bathurst Resources closing the Canterbury Coal mine will only increase New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions, minerals industry body Straterra says.
The 100,000 tonnes a year coal producing site delivers product to Fonterra’s Darfield dairy processing plant 18km away, Straterra CEO Chris Baker said today.
“From June this year, that coal will have to come from Reefton at a distance of 240km, Southland at around 500km of transport or in a worst case, from imported coal.
“One of the popular alternatives is biomass but the notion that this can replace coal at the scale required in this competitive environment is, at this time, wishful thinking.
“While Environment Canterbury and Selwyn District Council have declared a climate emergency, the closure of the Canterbury mine will in fact increase New Zealand’s emissions,” Baker said.
Bathurst Resources said today that “the timeframes and cost of regulatory processes outweigh the commercial returns”.
This mirrors what Environment Minister Hon David Parker told media today, that the Resource Management Act is “too costly, takes too long”. The Government is to develop three new statutes to replace the RMA.
Baker said: “Straterra looks forward to engaging with the Government on developing fit-for-purpose resource management legislation that provides for responsible development, while safeguarding the environment. Speaking for mining and quarrying, the evidence argues this can be done and is being done.”
“We wish Bathurst Resources well in continuing to produce coal for the food processors and other industries that need coal, for as long as they need coal.
“We also hope that displaced employees are able to find good, well remunerated jobs,” Mr Baker concluded.