Bathurst expands Takitimu operations

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 13:46 26/07/2012

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Perth based-Bathurst Resources says it has bought an adjoining property to its Takitimu coal operations for $14 million.

The strategic acquisition through its wholly owned subsidiary, Takitimu Coal, followed successful negotiations with the landowner.

The purchase of the land received the required approval from the Overseas Investment Office of New Zealand on July 25.

Bathurst Resources is listed on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

Takitimu Coal is a subsidiary of Eastern Coal, which was acquired by Bathurst in March 2011.

Bathurst bought the mining company for A$35m from Australian owners Galilee Energy.

Bathurst said Takitimu Coal operated the Takitimu thermal coal mine at Nightcaps in Southland and was currently extending the mine into the nearby Coaldale block, which was located on the newly acquired land.

The Takitimu mine has been operating for 140 years and is currently producing 175,000 tonnes of thermal coal per annum.

Eastern had a long standing royalty agreement with the landowner to mine the land, Bathurst Resources managing director Hamish Bohannan said.

''Improving the economics of the Takitimu operations was Bathurst's key motivation for acquiring the land,'' he said.

''The key benefits of the acquisition are that Bathurst will no longer be required to make ongoing royalty payments to the land owner and having full access to the area will result in a significant reduction in the costs of handling and storing overburden.''

Bathurst Resources shares last traded at 38 cents, 1 cent higher than yesterday's close on the NZX.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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