Wesfarmers Premier Coal and Blackham Resources are a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for their use of innovative techniques in extracting lignite at the Scaddan deposit near Esperance in Western Australia.
For many years the Scaddan lignite deposit near Esperance in WA has been known to the various exploration companies across the nation, yet this massive energy bank remain undeveloped – primarily because of a lack of technology, innovative thinking and historically low energy prices.
However, in a world first, the companies have signed a binding joint venture agreement over the Scaddan project to see if the deposit cannot be developed for economic gain.
The joint venture company will gasify the lignite and then produce a singas which will produce the necessary hydrocarbons to produce diesel.
The lignite deposit has the potential to produce up to 400 million barrels of oil products, with the main output being diesel.
The company completed a scoping study in August and drilling is currently underway at the deposit.
The company used fresh samples from the drill program for drying and gasification testing to confirm its belief that the Scaddan lignite is suitable for a coal to liquids process.
This innovative approach to gasification of the lignite will help set an Australian standard and may, in turn, give other resource companies the much needed innovative technology needed to develop the various mineral deposits across the country that have been deemed non-viable for a variety of reasons.