Holcim New Zealand in coal mining land acquisition

Holcim New Zealand in coal mining land acquisition
Published: 07 November 2012


Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd. is planning to acquire land in New Zealand for coal mining operations, leading to speculation that the company expects to proceed with its -delayed proposal to build a new cement plant.

According to reports by Fox Business, the coal mining operations are aimed at supporting the company's second manufacturing plant in the country, a project that it put on hold last year due to uncertainty stemming from a fragile global economy.

Although it is now working on the proposal to construct and operate the new manufacturing plant at Weston, in the South Island, "the project is on hold and further consideration is not expected until sometime in 2013." Ken Cowie, capital projects manager of Holcim (New Zealand), said in an emailed statement.

In October 2011, the board of Holcim's parent decided to put the project on hold due to the global economic slowdown. Eventually, once the new Weston manufacturing plant comes up, it will replace the Westport plant, the company said on its website.

The company has applied to New Zealand's overseas investment regulatory office to buy 196.8576 hectares of land in Otago, South Island.

"The land being purchased is a neighbouring property to an existing Holcim property containing coal, which will be the source of thermal energy for the proposed plant," Mr. Cowie said, adding that the land to be acquired will be used to support the development of the coal pit.