The Green Party says it is nonsense for the mining company Bathurst Resources to claim it can restore the Denniston Plateau to a pre-mined state.
On Saturday the company's chief executive, Hamish Bohannan, told TV3's The Nation that the company can put things back pretty much as they were and can make improvements.
But the Greens conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage says that is completely at odds with any basic understanding of ecology as well as with a ministerial briefing paper on the proposed mine.
Ms Sage says open cast mining will destroy the very values which make the Denniston Plateau unique and which led to its protection as conservation land.
She says a Department of Conservation briefing paper said the proposed open cast mine would permanently alter the landscape. The paper also says the area is a nationally outstanding landscape.