Reported from Australia, “Hot Sedimentary Aquifer geothermal company, Hot Rock (ASX: HRL) has been granted a Queensland geothermal exploration permit via a competitive tender by the Queensland Government.
HRL was selected as the preferred tenderer for the Walsh Hot Springs geothermal permit EPG19, which covers approximately 657 km2 and is located 115 km west of Cairns in north Queensland.
HRL believes this permit “to be one of the most prospective of the geothermal permits offered by the government in Land Release Area GLR2007-1.”
Executive chairman of HRL, Dr Mark Elliott said today: “Our first project in Queensland is exciting based on the fact that we already have hot thermal springs at surface, indicating potential commercial temperatures at depths of less than 3 km”.
On the 14th December 2009, HRL was offered a Geothermal Drilling Program (GDP) grant for $7million from the Australian government for its flagship geothermal project at Koroit in the Otway Basin, starting in 2010, followed by the development of a pilot plant by 2011.
Two thermal springs have been identified in the Queensland permit area with recorded surface discharge temperatures of 42oC and 56oC.
No previous geothermal exploration has been carried out in the area to test the potential of these geothermal fluids at depth for electricity generation.
Importantly, the permit is located within 75 km of major transmission lines and electricity markets in north Queensland.
Exploration Permit for Geothermal, EPG19 was granted to HRL on the 1 June 2010 for a 5 year term.
In the first year of the tenement, HRL will commence initial exploration work to sample and examine the geochemical composition of springs and water bores to investigate possible connections between the surface springs and a high temperature geothermal reservoir in fractured rocks at depths of up to 3.5km below surface.
The exploration program in Queensland will be funded from the company’s existing cash reserves.”