JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - TSX-listed Orca Gold has received an exclusive permit for the exploitation of water from the Area 5 aquifer, first discovered by the company in May 2017, from the government of Sudan.
The water permit is a strategic permit in the development of a gold mine on Block 14 and entitles the company to extract the necessary water to support a six-million-tonne-a-year mining and processing operation, which is the basis of a feasibility study that is in progress.
The water permit covers an area of 980 km2. Through drilling and pump testing, Orca defined a resource of 100-million cubic metres of fresh water within an area of 135 km2. The aquifer is open in all directions and would be available for additional production, if required.
Orca CEO Rick Clark said a determining factor in developing a mine in the desert, in addition to finding an orebody, was water. "With the granting of this exclusive water rights over the Area 5 aquifer, the government of Sudan has confirmed its full support of Orca and the development of a commercial gold operation at Block 14.
"With this key permit, we will now move towards the completion of a feasibility study, which contemplates a processing operation of six-million tonnes a year.
"As we continue to expand the gold resources at Block 14 through ongoing drilling, we look forward to delivering the results of the feasibility study based on this robust water supply."