Geothermal

Mine Could Be Powered by Nearby Geothermal Energy Source

Future electricity supplies for a South Australian uranium mine whose power requirements are expected to increase from the 3 to 4 megawatts (MW) per year may come from a geothermal or “hot rocks” project being developed just 11 kilometers from the Beverley uranium mine.

An exploration of opportunities to supply the mine with electricity beyond its current contracted requirements will be undertaken by Heathgate Resources Pty Limited — the operator of the Beverley uranium mine in South Australia north of Adelaide — and geothermal developer Petratherm Limited, who signed a memorandum of understanding. At Petratherm’s Paralana geothermal energy project, the finding of increased geothermal capacity enabled two new wells to be drilled nearby up to twice the depth of the test well, to verify the expected thermal resource, undertake circulation tests, and establish an underground heat exchanger. Under a trial heat-exchange program, water would be pumped from surface down one of the new wells and circulated through hot rocks at approximately 3.6 kilometers depth. It would then be returned to surface via the second well as superheated water able to produce steam to drive electricity generators. The drilling and circulation work would be a precursor to developing an electricity generation plant at Paralana of around 7.5 MW capacity to supply local demand — including to potential key customers such as Heathgate or delivering into the State’s main electricity grid infrastructure.