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  • Rikki Lambert

Leigh Creek's urea 'Eureka' boom imminent

As fertiliser prices spike around Australia due to the high energy input cost, hope is not far away as Leigh Creek Urea Project (LCUP) looks to explode the remote SA mining town's population by as much as twentyfold.

Local broadcaster FlowFM caught up with LCK's managing director Phil Staveley about the project, saying on some estimates Leigh Creek's population of 70 will boom by over 1,000 jobs on offer as the project gets underway:

"The people in Leigh Creek will start next year, they will in 2022 gradually build and then a big rush in the start of 2023, when there'll be a couple thousand jobs for people.
"The town at last count, a bit out of date, had about 70 people, so it offers really good opportunities for the local community in terms of education, in terms of the hospital - all of these things have to be reinvigorated."

Hear the full interview on the FlowNews24 podcast:

Asked whether LCUP would be looking to state or federal governments for help with the social infrastructure employees would need for the project, Mr Staveley committed:

"Well, we are going to make sure that it's there. I suspect the government has some role, I don't care whether they do or not - we are going to make sure those things are there. I think the state government has some responsibility."
"For things like medical, we have the responsibility to be able to operate safety and when you're operating in Leigh Creek includes appropriate medical facilities, so we've got to put them in place."

Mr Staveley highlighted the project's green credentials, recently bringing forward their carbon-neutral commitment from 2030 to 2022, and said they had been invited to take part in the Glasgow climate talks.

The project will develop its own gas on-site needed for urea production - principally for use in agriculture - and thereby be able to contain their primary input cost to around $1 per kilojoule.

Mr Staveley said their intention was to deliver reliable, affordable supply of the major farm input cost in Australia:

"It will be cheaper and more stable cost, and it will be delivered when its required, not the following month!"

The project still has some environmental hurdles to clear before it proceeds.


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