CANBERRA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A West Australian mining company on Monday announced that it has been planning to trial underground coal gasification (UCG) in Queensland where another UCG project was forced to shut down following water contamination scare.
Cougar Energy's UCG pilot plant at Kingaroy, northwest of Brisbane of Australia, was closed down last week after traces of the cancer-causing chemicals benzene and toluene were found in bores near the plant.
The Kingaroy community is now horrified to learn another mining company plans to trial UCG, the burning of coal underground to create a gas that is piped to the surface, within kilometers of the town.
Red River Resources managing director and geologist John Karajas told Australian Associated Press the company wants to set up a pilot plant about three to five kilometers south of the Kingaroy township.
Karajas said this was subject to shareholder approval and the lifting of the Queensland government's moratorium on new UCG projects since the water contamination scare.
He said he believed the technology was safe and will not affect ground water.