Australian precious and base metals explorer and developer Alara Resources announced on Thursday that it has secured water supply for its copper project in Oman.
In a press statement, the ASX-listed company said that its Omani unit Al Hadeetha Resources (AHRL) signed a binding agreement with Oman Water & Wastewater Services Company (OWWSC) to secure process water for Wash-hi Majaza Copper-Gold Project.
The water would be priced at a fixed rate for the first five years of the agreement.
The agreement comes after AHRL reduced the water supply requirements incorporated in the Project’s definitive feasibility study via the adoption of a dry tailings system, the statement said.
Under the agreement, OWWSC will provide 1,200 cubic metres per day of processed water to AHRL’s copper concentrator plant via its Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) located close to the project site.
The statement noted that AHRL would transport water from the STPs to the site in tankers, and an 18,000 cubic metre water storage reservoir would be constructed on-site.
It said AHRL would also invest in upgrading the capacity of one STP, located near the Al Mudhaibi township, to 1,800 cubic metres per day. The investment would be recovered over the life of the agreement via water charge discounts.
Ownership of the upgraded plant will ultimately be transferred to OWWSC.
Alara Managing Director Atmavireshwar Sthapak said: “The water agreement is a strong positive on multiple fronts. From Alara’s perspective, it represents the achievement of another milestone in the Wash-hi Majaza Copper-Gold Project construction phase and provides further evidence of the strong public-private partnership between AHRL and OWWSC in Oman. AHRL’s investment in a capacity upgrade for the STP near the Al Mudhaibi township will ensure that the Project’s water requirements will be met over the longer term.
Notably, the agreement also has a compelling ESG theme attached. Maximising the industrial use of treated water reduces Oman’s dependence on the ground or desalinated water and mitigates environmental risks associated with inefficient use of effluent water. AHRL is working towards the prompt delivery of other important components of the Project construction phase."Alara’s active projects in Oman are the Al Wash-hi Majaza Copper-Gold mining licence and Mullaq, Al Ajal exploration licences under the Al Hadeetha Joint Venture, and the Block 7 exploration licence under the Daris JV, according to the statement. The company also intends to bid for the Khnaiguiyah Zinc-Copper project in Saudi Arabia.
(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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