7 Jun 2013

Forest and Bird wins part of mining appeal

9:25 pm on 7 June 2013

Forest and Bird has won part of its appeal against mining on the Denniston plateau on the South Island's West Coast.

The High Court on Friday released the second part of its judgement relating to the conservation society's appeal against an Environment Court interim decision indicating it would grant Bathurst Resources resource consent for its open-cast coal mine project.

Although he threw out the rest of its appeal, Justice Fogarty has agreed with Forest and Bird's concerns that the Australian company would be unable to adequately address the environmental damages caused by the mine by carrying out predator control near the mine and in the Heaphy catchment.

Forest and Bird's regional field officer Debs Martin said the decision clearly delineates between mitigating and offsetting actions, which is important because activities that are mitigation get special consideration in any final decision to grant resource consent.

"Mitigation, which is something that comes as a part of core consideration is separate to those types of things you consider that are offsite, which is what this is. That might sound like a bit of legalese argument, but it delineates what weighting those things are given in the final decision."

Ms Martin says there will be further hearings in the Environment Court next week before a final decision is made.