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Solid Energy Continues Improvement In Environmental Performance

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Solid Energy Continues Improvement In Environmental Performance

19 March 2008 - A 3.2% reduction in its environmental impact and substantial progress in improving the quality of the water at Stockton Opencast Mine in Buller are the main achievements highlighted in Solid Energy's 2008 environmental report, released today.

The Stockton Mine water quality improvement is particularly pleasing, says Chief Executive Officer, Dr Don Elder. "This has been an extremely challenging project: a huge site with a large number of constantly changing roads and working areas, more than five metres of rain a year, and water chemistry that makes treatment difficult.

"Around 2002 we started work to understand what was involved and to identify potential solutions. We've been working with the community since 2004 to agree an approach and they've been monitoring our progress ever since. The programme includes a wide range of preventions and treatments; there's been no silver bullet solution but the systems we've developed are helping ensure that, by building them in from the start of planning, future operations won't be as much of a challenge."

The 2008 year saw rehabilitation completed on 160 hectares of former mine sites, including 66 hectares at Rotowaro in Waikato, more than 12 hectares at New Vale Opencast Mine in Southland and 30 hectares at Stockton. Solid Energy planted more than 320,000 native seedlings and shrubs as part of this effort and completed 6 hectares of vegetation direct transfer, a technique which helps maintain biodiversity and encourages much faster regeneration.

Solid Energy's aim is for the cumulative result of all its activities to have a net positive effect on the environment. To evaluate its progress and overall impact on the New Zealand environment, the energy company has used a consistent impact measurement system since 2005. The latest report covers the period from July 2007 to the end of June 2008.

The 2008 year was the third consecutive year in which Solid Energy achieved its goal of a net positive environmental effect.

The printed report is this year available in summary form, with more information available on the company website at www.coalnz.com. Solid Energy plans to move towards comprehensive sustainability reporting in its Annual Report which is published in October each year.

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