Three years after Solid Energy bought the moribund Pike River coalmine for $7.5 million, its saleable assets have been valued at just $1.48 million.

At the time of the 2010 mine disaster, the privately-owned Pike River Coal Company had spent about $290m developing the underground prospect, and was facing potentially $50m more in extra costs.

Two years after the fatal explosions, Solid Energy bought the assets for $7.5m.

Over the past few months, equipment has been auctioned off as Solid Energy prepares to hand the site back to the Department of Conservation.


The assets include a full coal preparation plant, extensive pumping systems and coal loadout facility at the Ikamatua railsiding, and a large quantity of spare parts at the mine site, behind Atarau.

The Greymouth Star asked under the Official Information Act how much had been raised from those sales.

Solid Energy legal services manager Rob Page declined to give the amount because the auction was ongoing.

However, he said that in December an independent valuation put the value of the assets available for sale at $1.48m.

Mr Page said the amount it actually received depended on the response received from the marketplace "and whether all items could be sold".

Solid Energy began offering the assets for sale by tender in May. By June 30, the most expensive thing sold was a transportable building.

Sale proceeds go to Pike River (2012) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solid Energy.

The site is expected to be handed back to DOC later this year, and will never be mined again.


- Greymouth Star