Calls by Forest & Bird for the Department of Conservation to stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work on the Denniston Plateau because of smoke coming from an old mine shaft are ill-informed, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.
“The smoke is coming from an old mine shaft where low level underground fires have burned for decades. These fires also occur naturally in this rich coal field. These smouldering seams pose no significant threat and are left to burn naturally. Smoke appears periodically relative to atmospheric conditions and has done so for many years,” Dr Smith says.
“It is ridiculous for Forest & Bird to blame Bathurst for these fires and to demand any work stop before they are put out. The smoke is some kilometres from Bathurst’s escarpment mine. Forest & Bird should check with the Department and be better informed before making these sorts of public claims.
“This smoke from an old mine shaft just highlights the degree to which the Denniston Plateau has been previously mined and that it is not the pristine area that some claimed. It reinforces the Government’s decision to allow the Denniston mine to proceed.”
So the smoke is from a location many kms away from where Bathurst is mining, yet Forest & Bird blame it on them. Anything for a headline!