Spring Creek Underground Mine

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This article is part of the collection of articles on coal projects in New Zealand, which has been developed in conjunction with Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA). See CANA's Twitter feed and Facebook page. For information on how to get involved in adding material to CoalSwarm see here.

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The Spring Creek mine is an underground coal mine near Dunollie, north of Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.

The point below is only for the approximate area of the mine,

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The mine is owned by Solid Energy and was placed into “care and maintenance” in September 2012 following a period of uncertainty, at the end of which staff were told that their numbers would fall from about 254 to 32.[1]

Background

Spring Creek coal was used by industrial customers in New Zealand and exported to steelmakers through Lyttelton Port of Christchurch".[2]

Between 2007 and 2011 the mine was operated through a joint venture with Cargill, which bought a 49% stake in the project.[3] Solid Energy then resumed full ownership of the mine. [4] In its 2011 annual report Solid Energy stated that in November 2010 production at the mine had to be suspended to allow for the implementation of a comprehensive safety programme. Production during 2011 fell by 24%. Development work resumed in February and extraction in May 2011. During 2011 $19 million of capital expenditure was put into Spring Creek. The company stated that it was "planning for a future extension west into the Rapahoe East mining area." [5]

In August 2012, however, Solid Energy announced that, because of “extremely challenging market circumstances” operations at Spring Creek would be suspended pending a review.[6] In September 2012, Chairman, Mark Ford, announced that Spring Creek would be closed because it had not been profitable for some time and had lost more than $100 million. Staff numbers would fall from about 254 to 32. In addition, up to 130 contractors’ jobs would be affected.[7]

Project Details

Owner: Solid Energy
Location: Dunollie, near Greymouth, West Coast of New Zealand's South Island
Coordinates: -42.388029,171.263366 (approximate area only)
Status: Operating
Production capacity: approx 45-70,000 tonnes per annum.[8]
Type of coal:
Employees: 230[9]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Solid Energy, "Solid Energy responds to very tough market", accessed October 2012
  2. Solid Energy, "Spring Creek Underground Mine, accessed March 2012
  3. Cargill, "Cargill to acquire 49-percent shareholding in New Zealand coal mine", Media Release, March 14, 2007.
  4. Solid Energy, "Solid Energy resumes full ownership of Spring Creek Underground Mine", Media Release, February 2, 2012.
  5. Solid Energy, "Annual report 2011", Solid Energy, page 25.
  6. Solid Energy, "Solid Energy responds to very tough market", accessed October 2012
  7. The Press "Solid Energy axes hundreds of jobs", accessed October 2012
  8. Solid Energy, "Spring Creek Underground Mine, accessed March 2012
  9. Solid Energy, "Solid Energy responds to very tough market", accessed October 2012

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