Bathurst Limited to suspend operations at Escarpment Mine           

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Image credit: Bathurst Limited YouTube channel

New Zealand coal mining company Bathurst Resources announced that it will suspend operations at the Escarpment Mine following the closure of the local cement works in mid-2016.

Image credit: Bathurst Limited YouTube channel
Image credit: Bathurst Limited YouTube channel

“The main market for the Escarpment coal has been the local cement works which is planning to close in June 2016,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.

“The search for a replacement for this market is ongoing, with the biggest issue being getting the coal to the markets at the right cost. At present the existing markets for this high quality product are around 35,000 tonnes per annum.”

Bathurst Chairman Toko Kapea said that detailed planning and feasibility work had shown that the mine cannot be profitable at current production levels, adding that suspension of operations at the mine will likely occur in May.

“It is envisaged that the mine would be placed in suspension at the beginning of May. Between now and that time the mine will continue to supply to local cement works,” Mr Kapea said.

“Site works will also centre on forming stable slopes and water control structures to allow the mine to meet all of resource consent conditions in a safe and cost effective manner.”

He said the company would continue to compete for other markets for the high quality coal.

“The resource is still available to mine and there is a scale where it is profitable,” Mr Kapea added.

“Bathurst plans to maintain the value of the resource and the consents that allow access to that resource as part of the normal planning process.”