Nearly one hundred and forty years ago it was stated that 'South Australia's greatest wealth lies in the north'. It has taken a long time but it looks like it finally could prove to be the case. The Leigh Creek coal deposit has been worked for the last fifty years, the Moomba oil and gas field, on the Strzelecki Track, has been in production since 1984. A Magnesium plant at Mount Hutton and Uranium extraction plant at Beverley will both start production. A Uranium deposit at Honeymoon is being evaluated.
The north is also host to Olympic Dam, the world's largest copper, uranium, gold and silver mine, with an expected productive life of more than a hundred years. The Talc mine at Mount Fitton is large enough to supply almost all of Australia's cosmetic talc requirements. More recently immense deposits of coal and iron ore have been established between Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta. New gold, opal at Lambina, and diamond fields have been located and are in the process of being tested.
To add to this is the biggest bonus of all, HOT ROCKS. These have been located at Innamincka. To be more precise about four kilometres underground. This massive deposit of granitic rock under the Cooper Basin could provide the power for the future. If proven economically viable to use, this resource could support a geothermal power station and generate all of South Australia's power requirements.
By forcing water down into the rocks, the heated water would produce steam which in turn could be used to drive power generating turbines. This 'Hot Dry Rock' technology should not produce any harmful greenhouse gasses and is environmentally friendly.
At present, Mulka Station on the Birdsville track, generates twenty kilo Watts of power from artesian bore water heated by hot rocks.
It is expected that the Innamincka site alone could provide Australia with power for at least one hundred years.
The South Australian Government has recently offered Geothermal Exploration Licences and Geodynamics, which has just listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is now preparing for the first stage of its Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermal electricity project.
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