Bitcoin company TDI eyeing off old lead and zinc Que River mine on Tasmania’s west coast

An old lead and zinc mine on the west coast of Tasmania could become home to what an Australian bitcoin miner is describing as “Australia’s largest emerging, 100 per cent renewable energy bitcoin mine”.

The Que River mine, 20 kilometres south of Waratah, has not operated for years, but the purchase by newly formed company Tasmanian Data Infrastructure (TDI) could see a very different type of mining operation on the site.

Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency, and while it is completely digital, it still needs to be mined.

“Mining” in this case operates differently from regular mining, with high-tech computers required to run complex algorithms to produce bitcoins.

Each bitcoin mining computer around the world races to be the first to complete a 64-digit hexadecimal number, or hash, for a new bitcoin.

Only one computer achieves the hash and is rewarded 6.25 bitcoins, currently valued at $207,330.

Then, the process repeats itself around every 10 minutes. There are currently an estimated 1 million bitcoin mining computers around the world.

Each mining hub needs a lot of computers to generate bitcoin, which takes up a lot of space.

A location like an abandoned mine provides enough space for the construction of a bitcoin facility, with some of the necessary infrastructure already in place.

Additionally, the Que River mine sits at an altitude of 700 metres, which provides an ideal climate for the machines.

Why is Tasmania becoming so popular for bitcoin mining?

Tasmania’s popularity for new bitcoin ventures is due to several reasons, but the predominant one is renewable energy.

Bitcoin mining uses an immense amount of energy. If bitcoin mining were a country, it would be the 23rd highest consumer of energy annually, not far behind Australia’s usage.

Bitcoin has come under fire from environmentalists, as it currently gets a majority of its power from fossil fuels.

On top of that, it is expensive to run bitcoin mines because of the rising cost of electricity.

With 100 per cent renewable energy, as well as cheaper power, Tasmania solves a lot of problems.

Tasmania is also the coldest state in Australia. This is important as bitcoin mining computers generate a large amount of heat and need to be cooled down.

With a naturally cooler climate, bitcoin miners would save money by using less power.

It has put Tasmania on the top of Australian miners’ lists.

Who is buying the mine?

Newly formed company TDI has purchased the mine, subject to government approvals.

Michael Addison is the executive director of TDI and founder of GENEX Renewable Energy.