Mine noise prompts complaints from residents

NOISE: Residents living near the Canterbury Coal Mine are concerned they are hearing more noise at night.

Noise at night from a large mine in Coalgate has prompted concerns from nearby residents.

A Malvern Community Board report said that residents have noticed the Canterbury Coal Mine, located on Bush Gully Rd, is getting louder at night.

But in the past year the district council has only received three noise complaints, with all complaints investigated and no breaches identified.

Whitecliffs Township Committee chairwoman Jodie Thompson said a lot of residents have expressed concern and it has been contacting noise control at the district council.

She said she doesn’t mind the noise in the day but at night time she “hears crashing sounds.”

“It disturbs the peaceful atmosphere of the place which is why most people move out here,” she said.

The maximum noise level at night is 70dBa.

Bathurst Resources chief executive Richard Tacon said an assessment of likely operational noise effects was completed prior to night operations starting last year.

“Now we are aware of community concern and locality, we have requested further operational noise monitoring be completed by an external noise consultant,” he said.

But Coalgate chief fire officer Phillip Shaw said he lives close to the mine and doesn’t hear it.

Glentunnel Township Committee chairman Reg Anderson said while it hasn’t affected him, it has affected other people in the township and needs to be addressed.

One resident cannot sleep at night as a result of the noise, he said.

It comes as a resource application from Bathurst Resources to increase its heavy vehicle movements is currently on hold.

It lodged a resource consent to increase its coal truck and trailer movements to an average of 225 per week, with a maximum of up to 320 movements in January.

District council planning manager Jesse Burgess said it is currently discussing the scope of the application with Bathurst representatives.

Bathurst Resources Ltd domestic operations general manager Damian Spring said the application is a result of increased demand in the Canterbury region.

It is required to meet projected sales demand for coal, including to supply to milk processing sites owned and operated by Fonterra and Synlait.

Mr Spring said it has engaged with affected parties on Bush Gully Rd and Malvern Hills Rd.

“The feedback we have got is from neutral to happy with what we are proposing,” he said.

•Residents are encouraged to contact the company to discuss the noise from the mine at canterbury@bathurst.co.nz