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Bathurst Resources’ shares step on the gas


Bathurst Resources (ASX: BTU) witnessed a 13.5% increase in its share price today, with an intra-day high of $0.21 – compared to yesterday’s close of $0.185.

By the closing bell, around 2.7 million shares had changed hands.

The increase in share price follows today’s news of the lodgement of a timetable for the Environment Court of New Zealand in relation to the company’s Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau, near Westport.

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand recently appealed the court’s decision that consents are likely to be granted provided details of certain conditions are worked out.

The main conditions the court seeks more work on relate to ensuring that as much as possible of the present vegetation is re-established, and mechanisms to ensure permanent protection of 745 hectares of land on the Plateau outside the Escarpment mine.

Bathurst’s subsidiary Buller Coal has agreed with counsel for Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand that it will provide revised conditions by 29 April 2013.

Earlier this month, Bathurst revealed plans to redomicile to New Zealand to better position the company to realise its strategic goals, which include becoming one of the nation’s largest coal producers.

The company produced over 200,000 tonnes of coal last year, and is in the final stages of consenting for its Escarpment mine.

Escarpment will produce 1 million tonnes of hard coking coal a year and create 225 new direct jobs.

The Escarpment project alone is estimated to inject about $1 billion into the New Zealand economy over six years and provide $45 million in royalties and taxes a year.

Bathurst held around A$35.5 million in cash at the end of December 2012.

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