Category Archives: Stockton

What’s Going On At Stockton?

Failed state-owned coal company Solid Energy may no longer be hitting the headlines, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on – far from it. And the consequences may be very serious.

Our sources on the West Coast tell us that between 15 and 20 groups of potential buyers, mainly from India, have been through Solid Energy’s big Stockton mine there.

We also know that Bathurst Resources, the Australian coal mining company that fled Australia and set up in New Zealand, and which has managed to make a fearful mess of the unique and biodiverse Denniston Plateau in the course of a largely failed attempt to extract coal from it at an economic price, is trying to buy Stockton.

Work on the Denniston Plateau has now stopped.

Work on the Denniston Plateau has now stopped – but the destruction wrought by Bathurst Resources remains.

Republic Investment Management of Singapore recently bought a 20% stake in Bathurst Resources, and they are seeking to acquire more, possibly with a view to taking a controlling interest. This has allowed Bathurst to raise funds in relation to “an impending NZ coal opportunity”, which we believe may be the attempted purchase of Stockton and other coal deposits which Solid Energy has the rights to but has not attempted to mine. Continue reading

What agreement did the Government make with Indian coal interests?

Energy and Resources Simon Bridges with the Indian steel delegation in his office in January

Energy and Resources Simon Bridges with the Indian steel delegation in his office in January

Statements made in Indian media by Indian Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma after he met with Energy Minister Simon Bridges on 30 January indicate a clear expectation of some kind of deal between the two Governments on coal, said the Coal Action Network Aotearoa today.

We are looking forward to the Government of New Zealand for allocating mineral assets to Indian public sector companies on a Government to Government basis,” said the Minister in an official press statement after the meeting with Bridges.

Today in the House Steven Joyce, on behalf of Simon Bridges, denied that any promises had been given, but refused to rule out sales of coal mines to the Indians.
Continue reading

Confused About The Denniston Legal Cases? Now You Don’t Have To Be

Stockton Mine on the West Coast, Photo: Peter Lusk

Stockton Mine on the West Coast, Photo: Peter Lusk

As regular readers of this blog will know, Forest & Bird and the West Coast Environment Network have been fighting an epic legal battle to prevent Bathurst Resources getting its rapacious mitts on the Denniston Plateau. Bathurst wants to rip apart this beautiful and biodiverse part of the West Coast and turn it into an open cast coalmine – pretty much like Solid Energy’s Stockton coalmine, shown here. That would be a disaster for New Zealand wildlife – and for the climate.

I have been deeply impressed by the range and depth of the legal actions Forest and Bird and WCENT have come up with – but I’ve got to admit, I’ve also become more than a little confused at times about what appeals are being heard where. Now there’s no more need to be confused, because Debs Martin, Forest & Bird’s Top of the South Field Officer, has written a wonderful article for A Voice for Nature, the South Otago Forest & Bird Newsletter, explaining exactly where things are at with the legal process. You can download this excellent newsletter and get your head around the legal process from the South Otago Forest & Bird website.

But that’s not the only place you can learn about Denniston. As well as articles on the CANA blog, there’s another Denniston article in the June issue of the Coal Action Murihiku newsletter – the editorial hand of Jane Young is what these excellent publications have in common!

Finally, for comprehensive coverage, check out the Bathurst Resources section of the Coal Swarm wiki.

Martha’s Mine

This fine poem is by Auckland Coal Action member Nick Pak.

Martha’s Mine

My aunt Martha has lived here twenty
years now. They brought her here with
empty promises; now life goes on bitter
and ugly, a web of shattered dreams and sadness

They’ve never taken away her rubbish –
now twenty years of sludge sit in her
backyard. Not profitable yet, she tells me
as she watches the sludge shipping index to China

It’s time to move on, she says. She
used to have a good home, a sturdy
four bedroom white painted weatherboard place,
’till Papa got too hungry and gobbled it up

She’s on the benefit and her six
kids have never had jobs. The employment
situation here is the pits and her husband
died long ago of respiratory failure

With a glint of hope in her eye she tells
me the kids are headed north, there are
promises of work there, the nation is
creating jobs for hard working Neu Zulunders.

Next year I visit them in Northland. The
birds have stopped singing and the rivers
run with poison. I see them sitting in their rigs
with eyes of shattered dreams and sadness

For a visual artist’s close-up view of coal mining, check out Meliors Simms’ account of her recent visit to Stockton Mine: