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Using fracked gas to mine crypto in Kimberley a terrible idea

Lock the Gate Alliance has slammed a suggestion by American fracking company Black Mountain that fracked gas from its planned Valhalla exploration project in the Kimberley could be used to power crypto currency mining on site.

In a statement to the ASX, Black Mountain claimed it had received a “letter of intent” from American crypto mining company Highwire suggesting it wanted to use fracked gas that would otherwise be flared to power bitcoin mining computer systems located near the planned gasfield.

But the project, which would involve the drilling of 20 frack wells to begin with and require at least two billion litres of water, is still being assessed by the WA Government, and a decision is not expected until next year. If built, it would be located 280km east of Broome.

It’s the second time in recent months a company has proposed using gas from a nearby gas project to fuel cryptomining activities, with Canadian company Bengal Energy suggesting a similar plan using gas from a Santos project in Far Western Queensland.

“This is the height of arrogance from Black Mountain. This is an attempt by Black Mountain of production by stealth from a yet to be fully assessed, supposedly exploration fracking project. The WA McGowan Government is yet to make a decision, yet this Texan fracking company is making claims to the ASX that are so wild they could have been thought up in a Las Vegas hotel room at 2am,” said WA Lock the Gate Alliance coordinator Claire McKinnon.

“The Kimberley is too precious to frack full stop. Black Mountain must not be allowed to start suggesting parasitic side projects to leech off its fracked gas and force the unnecessary industrialisation of the Kimberley – certainly not before the WA Government has finished assessing the initial proposed gasfield.

“Black Mountain is also not the only company with plans to frack the Kimberley. Origin, Theia, and Buru also have plans to wreck this beautiful and unique landscape.

“It is madness that on top of this threat, Black Mountain is now talking about plonking fossil gas-sucking, Bitcoin mining operations in the Kimberley as well. The Kimberley is home to the largest area of intact tropical savanna in the world. It can’t be put at risk for fracking, let alone bitcoin mining.

“Allowing secondary industries to leech off Black Mountain’s fracked gas will also fuel the climate crisis, and further lay waste to the Kimberley’s precious landscape and water. If bitcoin miners want to mine bitcoin in Australia, they should be forced to use renewable energy – not climate crisis inducing fracked gas.”


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