The Bathurst Resources Ltd owned Takitimu Coal Mine, at Nightcaps, Southland. [File photo]
Exploratory coal drilling in a council-owned forestry block has finished.
Mining company New Brighton Collieries was granted exploratory access to the Southland District Council’s Ohai forestry block earlier this year. The block is next to the Takitimu Coal Mine.
Wellington-based and Australian Securities Exchange listed Bathurst Resources Ltd owns New Brighton Collieries.
Bathurst Resources chief executive Richard Tacon said exploratory drilling was complete and rehabilitation was done, which included capping the holes, removing fencing, re-contouring drill pads, filling in trenches and removing all rubbish.
The last results were being input into the company’s software, and they had begun updating the geological models, he said.
“Results of the mine plan date update will be some months away.”
When the council granted the exploration access, it also agreed in principle to negotiate the terms of an access arrangement for mining, subject to exploration and resource consenting.
An application to mine would have to go through a publicly notified consent process.
In Bathurst Resources’ 2021 annual report, it says a publicly notifiable resource consent process decreases the certainty of being able to generate future cash flows from this permit.
Because of this, the company did an impairment assessment.
As a result of this assessment, an impairment of $12.9m was recognised against a historical acquisition value relating to the original purchase of the New Brighton permit, that sat within mining assets, it says in the report.
An impairment is a reduction in the value of a company’s asset.
In May, Tacon said 45 people were employed at the Takitimu mine, and an expansion into the area covered by the exploration permit could create four or five jobs.
The current mine had an expected life of another five years, and the expansion could extend that to 2030, he said.
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