A Canterbury coal mine that was targeted by protestors a few months ago is to be closed, leading to the axing of 35 jobs.
Bathurst Resources has announced it will shut Canterbury Coal, which sits in the Malvern Hills near Coalgate, around 70 kilometres from Christchurch. It supplies around 100,000 tonnes of coal a year, much of which heads to the Fonterra milk factory in Darfield.
Acting chief executive Russell Middleton said the company was “disappointed” but had reached the point where “timeframes and cost of regulatory processes outweigh the commercial returns”.
“We have been working towards economic solutions for keeping the mine open with Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and our customers but these have not been successful.
“There will be staged job losses at Canterbury Coal over the next 12 months.”
Several climate change activists were arrested at the site in September last year after blocking access to the site, while calling for an end to coal mining.
The company said it would start rehabilitation of the site in consultation with council, land owners, neighbours and others.