PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Regis Resources is working on options to secure process water supply for its McPhillamys gold project, in New South Wales.
The company told shareholders that two water supply options have been concurrently progressed, with the first entailing water supply from the Mt Piper power station and Springvale mine.
The ASX-listed miner said on Tuesday that it had signed a nonbinding heads of agreement with Centennial Coal and Energy Australia that would allow Regis to use water from those two operations.
Some 4 GL/y to 5 GL/y would be made available to Regis from the middle of 2019, for an initial ten-year period. However, this could be extended by a further ten years.
The water would be supplied to Regis at no cost; however, the miner would be responsible for the capital and operating costs associated with the pumping and piping infrastructure to deliver the water some 70 km to the McPhillamys site.
Regis said the water supplied under this option would be sufficient to support a seven-million-tonne-a-year processing facility at McPhillamys.
The second option being considered is a groundwater access licence, with Regis having contractually secured some 4.5 GL/y of water through long-term lease and acquisition of unused water access licences over groundwater allocations in a catchment some 80 km from the McPhillamys project.
As with the first option, the water supply was sufficient to support a seven-million-tonne-a-year operation, and Regis would be responsible for the capital and operating costs associated with the required pumping and piping infrastructure.
Meanwhile, a definitive feasibility study into the development of a seven-million-tonne-a-year mining and processing operation at McPhillamys will be completed in the December quarter.
An update on the mineral resource estimate will also be completed in the September quarter, incorporating 43 000 m of infill drilling completed over the last nine months.