Mining company fined again for unauthorised sediment runoff

Bathurst Resources’ Coalgate mine in Canterbury has been fined an additional $9750 for causing further sediment to run into a waterway.

An additional 13 infringement notices, totalling $9750, were issued to Bathurst Resources Ltd for non-compliances, following 14 infringement notices, totalling $10,500, issued last October for unauthorised sediment runoff from its mine at Bush Gully Road, Coalgate, into the Waianiwaniwa River, which ultimately flows into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

Last October, the company was informed that further infringements would be issued if more unauthorised discharges of sediment took place. The second set of infringement notices was issued in December.  All 27 infringements occurred between June and November last year, with all unauthorised discharges arising directly as a result of development at the mine during autumn last year which created significant areas of exposed soil without effective sediment and erosion controls being in place.

Selwyn Waihora zone manager Michaela Rees noted that the mine had breached the Resource Management Act 1991, and in doing so potentially affected the habitat of the region’s most threatened fish species – the Canterbury mudfish – which is also taonga to Ngāi Tahu.

 “We are working closely with the company and we will keep a close eye on progress,” Ms Rees said. “If the company fails to comply again in any way, we won’t hesitate to escalate our enforcement response if necessary – our waterways must be protected.”