Bathurst Resources has reached agreement for a new supply contract for coal from its mines on New Zealand’s North Island. The company will supply up to 150,000 tonnes annually for 30 months from the Rotowaro and Maramarua mines in the Waikato area.

The contract also includes escalation options.

These mines are operated by BT Mining, which is a joint venture between Bathurst and Talley’s Energy Limited. It has had commercial control of the assets since the start of July.

Bathurst’s CEO Richard Tacon said, “This is an exciting development for the company. The contract progresses the company’s domestic supply strategy to displace imported coal.”

BT Mining completed a sale and purchase agreement with Solid Energy to purchase the assets of Stockton, Rotowaro and Maramarua mines on August 31, 2017.

Rotowaro is the second largest opencast coal mine in New Zealand. It is in the Rotowaro coalfield, an area that has had a long history of both open cast and underground mining. It was first mined in 1915 after a branch railway and a bridge were established over the Waikato River. The current opencast mine opened in 1958.

The coal is low ash, low sulphur thermal coal. Both the lower seam and upper seam of the moderately complex Waikato coal measures are present.

Maramarua is an opencast mine producing a low-ash, low sulphur thermal coal for the domestic market. It has a long history of coal mining with an opencast mine first being developed at the site in 1948. It has been mined in modest quantities since that time.

The current operation commenced in June 2015 with significant project capital being injected into the site infrastructure to establish operations.

As New Zealand’s leading coal producer, Bathurst provides energy for the agri-business sector, schools, hospitals and many other key players in our economy and society. With recent growth and acquisitions, the company is positioned to become an exporter of high-quality coal for steel production in Japan, India and other parts of Asia.

As well as the North Island mines, it has three operating mines on the South Island - Canterbury Coal, west of Christchurch; Stockton, north of Westport; and Takitimu, north of Invercargill. The Cascade and Escarpment mines near Westport are under care and maintenance.

In addition, Bathurst has permits over 15,000 hectares on the Buller coalfield, which is part of its strategic plan to become an exporter of high-quality metallurgical coal. The company also holds various exploration and prospecting permits in other areas of the South Island to position itself for further opportunities and growth.

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