BATHURST Resources has secured a 30-month supply contract for coal from its mines on the North Island. The contract for supply of up to 250,000 tonnes annually progresses the company’s strategy to supply domestic coal in New Zealand to displace imported coal.

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Bathurst Resources aims to provide more coal from its mines for domestic use in New Zealand.

The coal will come from the operating Rotowaro and Maramarua mines in the Waikato area, and the contract also includes escalation options.

The mines are operated by BT Mining, which is a joint venture between Bathurst and Talley’s Energy Limited.

BT completed a sale and purchase agreement with Solid Energy on August 31, 2017 to purchase the Rotowaro and Maramarua mines as well as the Stockton mine on the South Island.

Rotowaro is the second largest open-cast coal mine in New Zealand. It is in the Rotowaro coalfield, an area that has a long history of 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.

Maramarua is an open-cast 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 domestic players. With recent growth and acquisitions, the company is also 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.

Bathurst also 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.

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