Friday, March 09, 2012

Pike River and Schedule 4

Solid Energy has bought the Pike River mine. The government is welcoming the move - but I expect that's because they haven't looked too hard at what Solid Energy plans to do with it:

A year ago, Elder warned necessary preliminary work ahead of any fresh coal extraction at Pike River following the explosions could take years and cost $50 million to $100 million.

At the time he confirmed the miner's interest in Pike River and was "almost certainly the only company with the credibility, knowledge, experience and track record to mine the resource safely and economically".


State-owned Solid Energy, if successful with a bid, would likely look to develop the mine in a joint opencast/ underground approach, Elder said at that time.

It would need to get part of the surrounding land removed from schedule 4 protected conservation land for an opencast operation which would be in difficult access and resource conditions.

(Emphasis added)

So, have their plans changed - or has a state-owned enterprise really just spent millions of dollars of our money speculating on whether they can dig up our national parks? And if so, do they have government backing or not?