Pike River Coal sale completed
The sale of Pike River Coal Mine to Solid Energy has been completed, with the state-owned miner paying $7.5 million.
Solid Energy bought the mine site near Atarau in the Grey District as well as the stockpile and rail loading facility at Ikamatua. It also acquired the company's mining permits.
Pike River went into receivership soon after an explosion killed 29 miners in November 2010.
PricewaterhouseCoopers partner John Fisk said a final payment of $5m had been received and Solid Energy was now responsible for the mine.
The sale was a significant step toward winding up the company, but there was still plenty of work to be done, he said.
"The Pike River disaster has been a national tragedy and this has been a most challenging receivership."
Solid Energy spokeswoman Vicki Blyth said the company would secure the site and start planning an exploration of the mine's main entry drift and learn more about the coal resource.
It was likely to be several years at least before the company could say whether it had a safe, possible and commercially viable mining plan, she said.
A substantial exploration programme to better understand the coal seam and geology was needed before a safe and economic mining plan could be proposed for development, she said.
The families of the 29 miners had been told bodies could only be extracted as part of a wider commercial mining operation.
Seven people who had been working for the receiver have accepted roles at the Pike River site with Solid Energy.
As part of the purchase, Solid Energy gave a contribution to the police for the costs incurred in the aftermath of the tragedy.
- © Fairfax NZ News