Bathurst Resources wins legal point

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2013

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Bathurst Resources has chalked up a small win for its Escarpment Mine bid in the Environment Court, with the substantive decision for the proposed Denniston Plateau coalmine expected within days.

The Escarpment Mine Pro ject is a 190-hectare opencast mine near Westport which is expected to dig up 5.8 million tonnes of coal. Bathurst said a preliminary decision had been made by the court which found in its favour on a legal point.

The argument was whether the licensed, but undeveloped, Sullivan opencast mine near the Escarpment site should be taken into account when approving Bathurst's mine.

The two environmental groups contesting the Escarpment project, the Royal Forest & Bird Society and the West Coast Environment Network, believed the potential environmental effects of the Sullivan mine would add to the effects of Escarp ment and should be considered part of the plateau's "existing environment".

They believed the site could be mined in a limited capacity without needing any further consents, but, Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook said that was "a rather strained submission".

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