The news that Bathurst plans to start mining at Denniston on 1 July is a tragedy for the stunning ecology of the plateau, Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA) said today.
“Not only is this a tragedy for the beautiful plateau, it is also a tragedy for the climate, as every new coal mine is stealing from our children’s future,” said Jeanette Fitzsimons, a spokesperson for CANA.
“It is a tragedy for the West Coast communities who will once again put their faith in the boom-bust of coal instead of building a more robust and reliable future.”
We know that this mine is not economic at current prices. Evidence at the Environment Court shows that Bathurst needs $160/tonne for the mine to be worthwhile and the current price is less that two-thirds of this.
“How are they going to pay the $22million compensation to DOC that is a condition of their consent?” asked Ms Fitzsimons.
“There is a real risk that this mine will fail economically and they will walk away leaving a massive hole in the ground, a permanently damaged plateau, an increase in climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions, and a default on their obligations to the Department of Conservation” she said.
Coal Action Network opposes all new coal mines but believes existing mines should be allowed to run their course, phasing out as their permits end and miners retire.
There is already five times more coal available to use than can be burned if the world is to remain below two degrees of warming, according to climate scientists.