Coal mining company Solid Energy will reopen its Ohai mine in Western Southland, New Zealand, after discovering a new 50,000t coal deposit.

The company said it would continue exploration and drilling activities to locate new deposits, and coal extraction will take place during the next year.

Solid Energy is currently rehabilitating the site to meet the conditions of its coal mining licence.

Work under the NZ$32m (US$32.5m) three-year rehabilitation programme will include stabilization of pit walls, extinguishing a historic fire to ensure that the pit can hold water in the lake that will be created.

The Ohai mine was closed in June 2009 after it lost a major commercial supply contract in 2007.