The coalmine that once fired the Greymouth economy will be broken up and sold in bits by tender shortly, Solid Energy says.

The pumps have already started to flood part of the Spring Creek underground mine at Dunollie. It will be permanently plugged after the failed State-owned enterprise could not find a buyer for it.

Solid Energy said yesterday it had entered into an agreement for the sale of fixed and mobile mining assets at Spring Creek and Huntly East, and these were currently being removed from the mines.

It declined to name the sale price.

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The Greymouth Star reported that it understands a lot of the gear will be heading across the Tasman to Australian mines.

Solid Energy will shortly offer for sale by tender the land, buildings, fixed assets and remaining chattels from Spring Creek. It hopes to have this completed by early December.

Papers released under the Official Information Act also show that the design for the seals to be placed within the initial 40m of each of the two drifts has been completed.

The physical work associated with the closure involve re-establishing a vehicle airlock to gain access to the return drift, so existing infrastructure can be removed where the seal is to be constructed.

Water has started pumping into the west headings of the mine.

- Greymouth Star