Troubled fossil fuel company NeuRizer has warned potential investors to disregard entirely claims that the fertiliser it plans to manufacture at Leigh Creek will be “carbon neutral”, with “net-zero” carbon emissions.  

The admission follows a complaint lodged last June by the Conservation Council of South Australia (CCSA) through the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). [1] 

CCSA had asked the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to investigate whether NeuRizer misled or deceived investors about the climate impacts of its proposed urea fertiliser plant at the mothballed Leigh Creek coal mine.   

NeuRizer earlier this month advised the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that:  

all references to or that imply “zero carbon” or “net zero carbon”, or that NeuRizer … will produce “carbon neutral urea fertiliser”, “carbon neutral fertiliser” or “a carbon neutral product” are to be disregarded entirely. [2]   

NeuRizer has plans to operate an underground coal gasification facility and fertiliser factory on the site of an open-cut coal mine that was decommissioned in 2015.

The company (formerly known as Leigh Creek Energy) claimed on its website and in its 2022 Climate Related Financial Disclosure Report the fertiliser it would produce would be “carbon neutral”.  [1]  

CCSA Acting CEO Hugo Hopton said: “These false claims of carbon neutrality were a key element of the company’s sales pitch to investors.  

“NeuRizer’s statement to the stock exchange this month confirms what we suspected—NeuRizer had been misleading investors.  

“We made the complaint to ASIC because we were concerned investors and regulators were being misled about the climate impacts of this dirty project, and that NeuRizer would use those false claims to finance the project. 

“The questions now are what penalties will ASIC impose on NeuRizer and what compensation will NeuRizer pay to those who chose to invest based on that misleading information.” 

The announcement comes amid reports the company is $50m in debt, its share price is at an historic low of 0.5c, and claims the company was “on the brink”. [3] 

EDO Managing Lawyer Kirsty Ruddock said: “When a company makes false claims about its climate impacts, it gains a competitive advantage by misleading investors.” 


[1] ASIC complaint: Conservation Council of South Australia and NeuRizer, 6 June 2023.   


[3] Troubled NeuRizer on the brink, p19, Adelaide Advertiser, 24-4-24. 

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