Solid Energy bidding for Pike River

Hayden Donnell in the NZ Herald reports:

State owned mining company has revealed it wants to buy the mine, pay off its unsecured creditors and recover the bodies of 29 men still trapped inside. …

Solid Energy, which operates several West Coast mines including the nearby Spring Creek Coal Mine, today announced it was one of those looking to buy the rights to extract the $6 billion of coal still at Pike River through a mixture of opencast and underground mining.

Chief executive Don Elder said recovering the 29 bodies still inside the mine would be a priority in that proposal.

It was committed to addressing the “many challenges” of making the mine economically viable while respecting the wishes of the families of the dead, he said. …

“As a non-negotiable part of that, the wishes of the families have to be a priority in considering all options including potential recovery, if feasible, of the 29 miners’ bodies. The same applies to the unsecured creditors on the West Coast; any solution to invest in and work the mine needs to address that issue as a top priority.”

That’s possibly the best news the Coast has had, since the explosion.

Elder said the company’s plan would include opencasting parts of the mine.

Somehow I suspect the usual suspects won’t oppose this mine being opencasted.

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