Another appeal looming for Denniston mine

By Kim Fulton of the Westport News -
File photo / APN
File photo / APN

Forest & Bird has applied to launch another appeal against Bathurst Resource's proposed Denniston Escarpment Mine.

This time it intends to appeal decisions by the Environment Court and the High Court that the permit for Solid Energy's nearby Sullivan Mine should not be taken into account when considering the effects of the Escarpment Mine.

The High Court, on June 7, dismissed an appeal by Forest & Bird against the Environment Court's decision that the Sullivan Mine shouldn't be considered.

Forest & Bird Top of the South field officer Debs Martin said the last court decision failed to convince the environmental group.

Sullivan Mine was an existing mine with licence to operate and it was important that cumulative losses were taken into account, she said.

Bathurst chief executive Hamish Bohannan said the company was unsurprised, but disappointed, by the latest appeal application.

He said the Denniston project remained on track and Bathurst still hoped to be mining by Christmas.

At this stage Forest & Bird has only launched an application to appeal, which the Court of Appeal needs to consider whether to accept.

Mr Bohannan said Bathurst would decide in the near future whether to contest the appeal application.

The Environment Court released an interim decision on the Escarpment Mine in March, saying consent was likely if appropriate conditions could be met.

Forest & Bird and Bathurst returned to court a fortnight ago to give their final arguments on rewritten conditions for the mine.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith has given the project his support, granting Bathurst access last month.

- The Westport News

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