Gina Rinehart-backed Lakes Oil will be heading back to court in December to find out how its appeal will play out.

A “directions hearing”, which will include a timetable for preparation of the appeal, with the Victorian Court of Appeal has been penned in for December 19, chairman Chris Tonkin told investors late Friday.

The junior explorer (ASX:LKO) — which is 11 per cent owned by Ms Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting — lost its fight to overturn Victoria’s ban on onshore gas exploration in September.

Lakes had been undertaking gas exploration in Victoria prior to the ban, spending more than $80 million in the state.

The company said at the time the judgement was handed down that it would delay the restart of onshore conventional exploration activity in Victoria until mid-2020, when the ban expires.

Lakes is now appealing part of the ruling.

The company expects its appeal will be ready for hearing by March 6, 2019.