State-owned Solid Energy, if successful with a bid, would probably look to develop the mine in a joint opencast/underground approach. It would need to get part of the surrounding land removed from schedule 4 protected conservation land for opencast mining. Access would be difficult and so would resource conditions.
If Solid Energy do buy Pike River, I hope the Government does make it possible for them to carry on mining there, in the safest way possible. If that means moving a couple of hectares out of Schedule 4, then so be it.
Rodney Hide at the weekend seemed to have ESP with his call:
ACT leader Rodney Hide is calling for open-cast mining at Pike River and on protected conservation land.
State-owned Solid Energy should be allowed to open-cast mine Pike River, to access an estimated $10 billion of resources, he said. “It seems to me it will require a great deal of care and sensitivity. But I can’t see how not continuing their [the miner's] work respects them.” …
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn backed Mr Hide’s call for open-cast mining at Pike River.
“Yeah, Rodney Hide is correct. We need to get on with it and we need to do it in a way that will safeguard the environment and at the same time get economic development.”
It looks like it might happen, which is good.Tags: mining, Pike River, Rodney Hide