Australian Vanadium Ltd and Westgold Resources have signed a co-operation agreement that could see surplus water from operations at the Meekatharra asset used at the Australian Vanadium project in Western Australia.
Westgold’s Meekatharra operations comprise several active and inactive mines south of Meekatharra, 25 km to the west of the Australian Vanadium project, with continuous inflows into a number of these active and inactive pits and underground mines leading to the generation of significant amounts of surplus water. This water can be utilised in processing Australian Vanadium’s vanadium ore, the Australian Vanadium said.
In addition to the water access, the agreement provides a platform for “friendly collaboration” over access and the use of new and existing roads to move ore, materials and products within the companies’ tenements, Australian Vanadium added.
The Australian Vanadium project is currently one of the highest-grade vanadium projects being advanced globally, according to the company, with 208.2 Mt at 0.74% V₂O₅, containing a high-grade zone of 87.9 Mt at 1.06% V₂O₅ reported in compliance with the JORC Code 2012.
A December 2018 prefeasibility study laid out plans for an open-pit operation, with a crushing, milling and beneficiation plant, and refining plant for final conversion and sale of high-quality vanadium pentoxide.
Vincent Algar, Australian Vanadium’s Managing Director, said securing access to sufficient quality water resources to use in the mining and beneficiation process was one of the company’s highest priorities. “Access to excess water flowing into Westgold’s pits allows us to progress the project with increasing confidence,” he added.
“Western Australia has limited high-quality water resources, so innovative collaborations such as this agreement with Westgold can assist both the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) and DWER (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation) with their water management and environmental custodianship, whilst allowing this critical project to progress.”
The key terms of the agreement are:
- Westgold will not object to AVL’s proposed Miscellaneous Licence applications to enable Australian Vanadium to access, extract and establish infrastructure for pumping and relocation of water from one of the Reedy’s location open pits to the company’s desired location;
- Any works will be undertaken at AVL’s cost and risk;
- Access to Westgold and Australian Vanadium’s access roads will be permitted on a reciprocal basis;
- Co-operation will be undertaken in good faith and in a timely manner;
- A formal access agreement to secure Australian Vanadium’s Miscellaneous Licences and associated pumping infrastructure can be established, if required; and
- The letter of agreement is set to progress to a formal agreement within three years, otherwise the agreement expires.