16 Oct 2010

Restoration company faces 70-year fire at coal mine

8:31 am on 16 October 2010

Solid Energy says the company that has won a contract to restore a mine in Southland to agricultural land, will have to extinguish a fire that has been burning there for 70 years.

Stracon New Zealand Ltd, which is based in Cromwell, has won the contract worth $20 million to restore a pit at the Ohai opencast mine, which closed in June last year.

Solid Energy says the work includes moving about three million cubic metres of earth over three years, and stabilising the walls of the pit.

Southland mine manager Antony Stodart says the company will also have to dampen down the 70 year old fire burning inside the hill.