Regis snares water supply agreement

A record 15,346 ounces were produced at the Tomingley Gold Mine in the 2015 December quarter.
A record 15,346 ounces were produced at the Tomingley Gold Mine in the 2015 December quarter.

After months of searching for a secure water supply, Regis Resources Ltd have announced that not only have they executed a non-binding heads of agreement with the Centennial Coal Company and Energy Australia, to utilise water from the Mt Piper Power Station and Springvale Mine near Lithgow, but also they have secured water licences from the Lachlan Catchment.

Group Metallurgist and General Manager NSW of Regis Resources, Rod Smith, said that the company had contractually secured approximately 4.5 gigalitres per annum (GLpa) of water through long term lease and acquisition of unused Water Access Licenses in Zone 2 of the Lachlan catchment 80 kilometres from the McPhillamy’s site, but the Lithgow plan was front and foremost in the company’s plans.

“After the Bathurst plan fell through the company has been looking for another contingency plan and although it’s a very viable plan, the company’s preference is to take the water from Springvale and Mt Piper,” he said.

Both plans allow for 4.5 gigalitres per annum, sufficient to support a 7 million tonne per annum processing facility at the site.

A binding agreement for the Lithgow water is yet to be signed, but Mr Smith said that it wasn’t far off.

‘We will now be working towards finalising a binding agreement as soon as possible, with an agreement signed sometime in the September quarter of this year,” he said.

The agreement reached with Centennial Coal and Energy Australia will see the first gushing pipes of water being available around the middle of 2019, a timeline that will allow for Regis Resources to complete the final offtake agreement, tick all the regulatory approvals and complete the planning and construction of the pipeline, wherever that they may run.

“We will now start to talk to landholders along that route as there are several ways we can get there,” Mr Smith said,

“There are a couple of options whereby we essentially follow existing easements, or close to them, and bury the pipe so there are little or no medium or long-term impacts.”