West Coast coal miner Bathurst Resources Ltd (ASX: BRL) said the recent court judgement ordering it to pay $NZ60 million does not threaten the company’s viability.
The Otago Daily Times and Greymouth Star both reported Bathurst is appealing the ruling.
L & M Coal Holdings, now based in Asia, announced earlier this month it had won a $US40 M lawsuit against Bathurst subsidiary Buller Coal, which owns coal permits on the Denniston Plateau and 65% of the Stockton open-cast mine.
The lawsuit relates to the Escarpment mine which, after lengthy legal battles with environmentalists, won consent only to be mothballed when the international coal price plummeted.
Laura Mills of the Greymouth Star said Bathurst chief executive Richard Tacon was asked if the judgement threatened the viability of the mining company.
“Bathurst is generating cash and has no debt outside the US bonds; we can make any calls that may be required,” Tacon said.
“We feel the decision is legally wrong and we will appeal.”
Asked if there was any chance of the Escarpment mine being ramped up, he said development of its Denniston assets, including Escarpment, were ongoing. Drilling had just been completed on Escarpment in the past two months.
The company’s June update said it wanted to combine BT Mining assets at Stockton with Bathurst’s existing Buller Plateau assets.
BT Mining is a joint venture between Bathurst Resources and Talley’s Fisheries.
Bathurst also owns sub bituminous coal mines in Southland that provide energy for dairy and other industries.
Sources: greystar.co.nz; odt.co.nz; nzresources.com