Wasabi Energy subsidiary signs water deal with AngloGold AShanti

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Aqua Guardian Group (AGG), a 79.2 per cent-owned subsidiary of emerging power producer Wasabi Energy (ASX: WAS) has completed its first mine site sale and deployment in Western Australia with AngloGold Ashanti Australia (ASX: AGG).

Anglo Ashanti Australia (AGAA) has taken the lead on environmental excellence in water management by signing an agreement with AGG to implement its modular evaporation and algal control system, AquaArmour™, at the Tropicana Gold Mine in Western Australia.

“The deployment of AquaArmour™ in the mining industry is a significant step forward in the ongoing evolution of AGG,” Wasabi Energy executive chairman John Byrne said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The mining sector has been a key target market due to the large number of mine sites in arid, water stressed areas and the importance of water to the mining process and to the local communities.”

Wasabi noted there are 364 operating mines in Australia, approximately half of which are located in Western Australia, South Australia or the Northern Territory.

The majority of mines use open water storage facilities and are located in arid areas where water availability is relatively low and access to water is expensive.

In 2011 over $8.3 billion was spent by the mining industry on water with the Australian mining industry incurring a total water expenditure of $1.5 billion, which was more than any other country and almost double the next biggest spenders being Chile and China.

“With their rigorous health, safety and risk management assessments, this sale and deployment to a global mining company, demonstrates the compliance of the AquaArmour™ product and we expect an increase in mining sales,” Byrne said.

“The product has already been tested and successfully deployed in a number of environments, ranging from residential water, storm water harvesting and now mine site uses, for the effective mitigation of evaporation, algal control and maintenance of water quality.

“We have received interest from a wide range of potential customers in both the mining sector and water authorities and we continue to see an acceleration of the pipeline from initial contact through to sale and deployment of the modules.”

The Tropicana mine is 70 per cent-owned and managed by AGAA with Independence Group (ASX: IGO) holding the balance, is located 330 kilometres east‐northeast of Kalgoorlie‐Boulder on the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert.

The mine site covers 13,000 square kilometres of remote terrain in an arid climate, which experiences temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and between 150mm and 250mm of rainfall per year.

The mine is currently under construction and is scheduled to pour first gold in the December 2013 quarter.

“The deployment of AquaArmour™ provides an economically viable, simple solution to securing the site’s water security and water quality,” Byrne said.

“The AquaArmour™ modular evaporation and algal control system will be utilised in a water storage at the reverse osmosis water plant at Tropicana, the main supply of water to the site.”