Monthly Archives: February 2014

Minister of Conservation should halt Denniston Plateau mining

Press release

The beauty of the Denniston Plateau.  Photo: Forest & Bird

The beauty of the Denniston Plateau that Bathurst may remove for nothing. Photo: Forest & Bird

Coal Action Network Aotearoa today called on the Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, to not issue Bathurst Resources the DOC consent it needs to enter and operate its planned mine on the Denniston Plateau, in light of the company’s terrible financial state.

Bathurst has announced today that it is making 29 workers redundant and that it’s not going to mine coal at Denniston until international prices have recovered. However, it intends to go ahead and set up everything else on the plateau in readiness for mining.

This could include the removal of the “overburden” – the beautiful, biodiverse-rich landscape.

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Make the Switch from Westpac!

Kia Ora Koutou

Westpacswitch web 1It’s 2014 and we’re launching a new phase to the Westpac Dump Coal campaign with where all of you Westpac customers get to switch to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, and tell Westpac you’re doing this.

Join other Westpac customers to make the switch April 7-12 2014

We’re giving you all some time to make this switch, and we hope that by early April many of you will have done so and will be able to join a “mass switch” in public, at Westpac banks across the country.  It’s easy:

  1. go to our page and sign up to make the switch
  1. check out our step-by-step guide as to how to change bank accounts. We’ve made it as easy as we can for you, hopefully answering all questions, including a table looking at what your alternatives might be.

There’s other information on the page including template letters to send to both Westpac and your new bank, to make it very clear why you’re taking this action. Continue reading

Groups call on public to dump Westpac for funding Denniston coal mine

Press release from Coal Action Network Aotearoa and 350 Aotearoa 

DumpDennistonLogoCoalThe campaign against Westpac bank’s financial interest in mining on the Denniston Plateau stepped up a notch today when Coal Action Network Aotearoa and 350 Aotearoa launched their “Make The Switch” campaign encouraging people to dump their Westpac bank accounts.

The two groups have today called on customers who oppose Westpac’s financing of Bathurst Resources, who plan to mine the beautiful Denniston Plateau, to dump their Westpac accounts. Public “bank switch” actions will be held across the country in early April.

Click here to join the switch campaign – it’s easy. 

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Bathurst hits its own “perfect storm”

Coking coal prices since 2010.

When Bathurst resources started sniffing around New Zealand for something to make money from, the price of coking coal (or metallurgical coal = metcoal) was looking pretty good.

It was back in 2007/8 and the commodities world was doing high fives as the demand for steel – and coking coal – soared.  Prices soared.  Bathurst moved into New Zealand, set up with L&M’s Buller Coal, and started the process of trying to get consent to mine the beautiful and ecologically precious Denniston Plateau.

By the time Geoff Butcher, Bathurst’s economic guru, gave evidence in May 2011 to the West Coast Regional Council consent hearing, prices had soared again, to around $300 a tonne, largely due to floods in Queensland mines causing a drop in global supply. His evidence and economic assessments were based on a coal price of $275 a tonne. Continue reading