Leigh Creek Energy Ltd., Adelaide, has been granted authorization under the Aboriginal Heritage Act that permits the development of an in-situ gasification project within the former Leigh Creek coalfield north of Copley in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.
The authorization follows the granting of a petroleum production license in late 2020.
The grant comes with conditions designed to protect cultural heritage and develop programs that provide training, employment, and business opportunities to establish Aboriginal-owned enterprises to support the operations.
The project is being implemented in an area that has been extensively disturbed over a number of years by open-cut coal mining activities.
Nevertheless the conditions require the company to minimize further disturbance to Aboriginal heritage and seek input from traditional owners for development of a cultural heritage and management plan.
Leigh Creek Energy conducted a demonstration plant scale of the project in 2018-2019 comprising an above ground plant and an underground in-situ gasifier chamber that successfully produced syngas from the coal resource.
The plans for a commercial plant revolve around an end-product of urea.