Amur Minerals identified water sources for Kun-Manie development
Eastern Russia-focussed nickel-copper sulphide exploration and development company Amur Minerals Corporation announced on Tuesday that the hydrological assessment - a component of the permanent conditions ‘TEO’, a Russian equivalent to a feasibility study - for its Kun-Manie nickel copper sulphide project was now complete, and had been approved by the necessary Russian agencies.
The AIM-traded firm said the hydrological assessment confirmed the presence of “substantial” groundwater reserves located along the Maly Kurumkon and Bolshoy Kurumkon watersheds, dubbed the Ataga underground water deposit, which would be sufficient to support the Kun-Manie proposed mining operation.
It said the assessment confirmed both potable and ablution water and process water supplies would be available for the mining and ore processing of six million tonnes of ore per annum.
The assessment was reviewed and approved by the State Expert Commission on Reserves - TKZ Amurnedra - and the Khabarovsk branch of the State Committee on Reserves, or GKZ.
Amur explained that the work programme identified two geographically-separated water sources - one each for potable and ablution water, and for industrial usage inventories.
The water reserves were projected to cover a minimum project life of 25 years.
It said the results confirmed that 700 cubic metres per day of potable and ablution water was available to support the anticipated site crew of about 500 personnel.
The source of the potable and ablution water was located “well upstream” - around three kilometres - from the proposed plant site.
During operations, the potable and ablution waters would be drawn from two wells, with one acting as a backup well, and sourced from subsurface waters identified along the Maly Kurumkon water course.
The water quality met the Russian Federation SanPin126.96.36.1994-01 standards, and technogenic compounds were absent from the source area below the limits of detection.
It was recommended that the potable/ablution waters were pretreated by low cost simple sedimentation and filtering prior to use.
During sinter operations, when the subsurface waters would not be recharged through surface runoff, water levels would be lowered by around 1.5 metres, and subsequently were projected to be fully recharged during the spring snowmelt and summer rains.
For subsurface industrial water, an amount of 7,000 cubic metres per day of makeup water was required, Amur explained, and had been identified along the Bolshoy Kurumkon water course adjacent the planned process plant site.
Sourcing of the industrial water would require an eight hole field, including one backup hole, with the holes being spaced at 450 metre intervals along the water course.
The initial startup water charge - approximately 50,000 cubic metres - was anticipated to be initially sourced through a combination from the nearby Maya River and the well field.
That field was to be located downstream from the potable and ablution water source.
During winter operations, depression of the subsurface water level was projected to be in the order of 38 metres, with full recharge occurring during the spring snow melts and summer rains.
Based on the company's completed work, independent hydrological consultant assessments and expert reviews by Russian authorities, it was stated that existing reserves “fully satisfy” the declared demand for water usage, Amur confirmed.
The key findings of the hydrological assessment report would be incorporated into the western feasibility study work, the directors confirmed.
“Results from the hydrological assessment have established that a more than sufficient water supply is available to fully support the annual six million tonne of ore operation at our Kun-Manie nickel copper sulphide operation,” said chief executive officer Robin Young/
“Comprised of two categories of water which are potable/ablution waters to support a 500 staff operation and industrial usage to crush, grind and float the sulphide metals from the ores allowing for the generation of concentrates, these waters can be derived from a limited number of holes, ten in total.”
Young said that indicated that a “relatively small cost” would be required to develop the necessary two well fields.
“With the potable/ablution and industrial waters being sourced from two separate locations, we can be assured that the hydrological programme identified by the assessment maintains the integrity and quality of the critical potable and ablution source.”
At 1547 GMT, shares in Amur Minerals were down 11.02% at 2.18p.