Escarpment mine


The Escarpment mine is part of the Buller Project, which covers 10,000 hectares of exploration and mining permits on the Buller coal field on the Denniston Plateau.

The Escarpment mine on the Denniston Plateau near Westport is home to some of the world’s most valuable hard coking coal used for steelmaking.

Mining commenced at Escarpment in late 2014 developing the long term water control structures and forming the infrastructure pads. Coal was extracted as part of the early construction phase and was blended into the local cement plant. With the closure of the plant in early 2016, a decision was made to place the mine into care and maintenance in May 2016, allowing it to be brought back into operation when appropriate. This was the result of detailed planning and feasibility work, which demonstrated that the mine required certain levels of production to be profitable. 

The Escarpment mine is part of the Buller project which encompasses mining and exploration permits as well as a coal mining licence (Sullivan) on the Denniston plateau on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The project is located close to the Stockton mine, with the ability to synergise with Stockton’s infrastructure assets which include a coal handling and preparation plant and a rail loadout facility.

The focus for FY23 is completion of the Escarpment mine planning to enable commencement of operations under a favourable pricing scenario, given the site’s high strip ratio. The advancement from desktop design to conceptual options for the Upper Waimangaroa haul road is also to be progressed. The haul road would connect the Denniston plateau to the infrastructure at the Stockton mine.

Until then, environmental compliance at the site will continue until mining starts again. This includes monitoring acid mine drainage, water discharges and weed control.


Escarpment location on map

Mine information

  • Ownership
    100% BRL
  • Location
    Denniston Plateau 25 km east of Westport
  • License/Permit
    MP 51279
  • Coal types
  • Life of mine
    Depends on market
  • Coal Reserves
    Under investigation
  • Coal Resources
    3.8 Mt